Kathrada’s memorial a galvaniser

2017-04-02 07:44

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Video

Barbara Hogan: Zuma worshipped at an altar of corruption

2017-04-01 20:46

"Mr President, if you had ears to hear and eyes to see you would step down as Kathy would want," said Barbara Hogan before being drowned by a crowd screaming, clapping singing and dancing in calling for Zuma to step down.WATCH

In what has been a tumultuous political week, the passing of struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada turned into a galvanising event for ANC leaders critical of President Jacob Zuma.

The cancellation of the official memorial for Kathrada on Friday added fuel to the fire already burning over this week’s much-awaited Cabinet reshuffle.

Speaking to City Press, director of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation Neeshan Balton said it was clear that Zuma did not want a “repeat” of what had happened at the stalwart’s funeral at Westpark Cemetery on Wednesday.

“Given the events of the past few days, I don’t think they want to get into any more controversies. Because if it was a national memorial service and you have a repeat of what happened at the funeral, it may come across as unsavoury.”

All the speakers at Westpark addressed what was then a pending reshuffle in varying degrees of subtlety.

Zuma did not attend the funeral. The presidency released a statement that the absence of Zuma was in accordance with the wishes of the family.

“We would not have stopped him from coming, but I can understand the discomfort,” Balton said.

“I think that the president would have seen that these were Kathrada’s views and would have inferred from that, that it was not right.”

He said the foundation learnt that the memorial had been canned through a government statement on Friday, which marked a year to the day that the Constitutional Court found Zuma had failed to uphold the Constitution regarding Nkandla.

Balton said it took Kathrada six months to pen the letter calling on the president to step down.

“When the Nkandla judgment came out, he had been working on a draft of the letter for more than six months. He agonised and drafted and redrafted.

“A day before the judgment, we sent the letter to the presidency privately. They acknowledged it.

When the judgment came out, I asked him that same evening, after the president addressed the country and appeared not to be remorseful: ‘What do you think we should do?’

"He said: ‘We should release the letter. Keeping it private is not going to help.’ We released it.”

Barbara Hogan, Kathrada’s widow, broke her silence on Friday when she called for a new “mass democratic alliance”, in response to the Cabinet reshuffle and state of the country.

Making scathing remarks about Zuma at the Nelson Mandela Foundation, she said he had acted out of self-interest.

Despite the indefinite postponement of the memorial and the absence of Zuma at the funeral, Balton said Kathrada had genuine admiration for Zuma’s role in the liberation struggle.

“President Zuma spoke at Ahmed Kathrada’s 80th birthday and delivered a very powerful tribute to him. That was at Kathy’s request that the president do that.

"He was at pains when he saw these kinds of shifts.”

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  ahmed kathrada  |  cabinet reshuffle

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
ADVERTORIAL
Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.