Axed ministers hailed at Kathrada memorial

2017-04-01 16:10
Ahmed Kathrada memorial at City Hall in Johannesburg.  (Lerato Sejake, News24)

Ahmed Kathrada memorial at City Hall in Johannesburg. (Lerato Sejake, News24)

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Johannesburg - Standing ovations, stamping feet and screams of admiration greeted various recently fired ministers and their deputies at the memorial for ANC stalwart Ahmed Kathrada on Saturday.

Former finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas’s, appearances caused the overflowing crowd of hundreds at the Johannesburg City Hall to rise up in honour, as did that of axed tourism minister, Derek Hanekom, and fired public service and administration minister, Ngoako Ramatlhodi.

Hanekom and Gordhan were seated next to Nelson Mandela’s widow, Graca Machel.

Also in attendance were health minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, economic development minister, Ebrahim Patel, as well as former finance minister, Trevor Manuel, and Gauteng finance MEC, Barbara Creecy.

Representing the Nelson Mandela Foundation, professor Njabulo Ndebele did not mince his words in lashing out at the current state of the ANC-led government.

"A criminal syndicated government is a beast that can swallow us into oblivion," said Ndebele.

He challenged members of parliament and cabinet ministers – especially those newly appointed: "Is it worth it for you personally… families, friends, comrades… for them who will suddenly see betrayal…?"

Previously, Tasneem Kathrada paid tribute to her Kathrada’s love of education, while the Kathrada Foundation Youth Desk’s Busi Nkosi took a personal angle with her tribute, sharing memories of their jokes together and Kathrada’s "teddy bear hugs".

The memorial comes at a politically heated time – following a cabinet reshuffle by President Jacob Zuma during which he fired a number of ministers.

The memorial, was originally to be held jointly by the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation and the SA Communist Party, however following the cancellation of a state memorial – the Gauteng ANC also joined in on the commemoration ceremony.

Kathrada died on Tuesday morning, and his funeral service was held at West Park cemetery in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

Zuma was asked by Kathrada’s family not to attend the funeral.


Read more on:    anc  |  ahmed kathrada  |  johannesburg

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