Be brave, see you soon - Kathrada's friend wishes him well

2017-03-16 22:47
Fellow former Robben Island inmate Laloo Chiba visited struggle veteran Ahmed Kathrada in hospital. (File, supplied, Ahmed Kathrada Foundation)

Fellow former Robben Island inmate Laloo Chiba visited struggle veteran Ahmed Kathrada in hospital. (File, supplied, Ahmed Kathrada Foundation)

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

Johannesburg – A close friend of ANC stalwart Ahmed Kathrada has a message for him as he recovers in hospital.

"Be brave. And we hope to see him soon outside of the hospital," said Abduley Jassat on Thursday afternoon.

He was speaking on the sidelines of an Ahmed Kathrada lecture delivered by Professor Achille Mbembe at the Management College of Southern Africa in Johannesburg.

On Thursday the college honoured Kathrada by naming a lecture room the Ahmed Kathy Kathrada Auditorium.

Reminiscing on years gone by, Jassat said he and Kathrada were comrades in the Transvaal Indian Congress and eventually in uMkhonto weSizwe during the early 1960s.

"We were political allies," he said.

Marches, exile

Some of his fondest memories of Kathrada, those he can still remember, include working together.

"At my age you cannot remember these things. We don't even bother to think about these things but I remember that back then, we worked as a group."

Jassat said the most important thing was that Kathy, as Kathrada is fondly known, got him involved in the struggle at a young age.

"In the late 50s we took the whole Indian high school where I was doing matric on a march to the magistrate's court where some senior leaders, including [Nelson] Mandela, were on trial. These are some of the things we participated in."

He said during the initial stages of the formation of uMkhonto weSizwe, they were not very experienced.

"We had no training but that was our life. In 1963 when the Rivonia arrests were made, I was detained in Marshall Square, I was in prison for about four-and-a-half years and four of us eventually escaped from prison and left the country."

Jassat said he was in exile for more than 30 years.

Kathrada 'not critical'

Ahmed Kathrada Foundation spokesperson Neeshen Balton reassured South Africans on Thursday that reports that Kathrada was on life support were false.

Balton said: "Contrary to a lot of social media, he is not in a critical state, he is not on a life support system. All of his organs are functioning. He is being kept in a sedated condition."

Balton apologised on behalf of Kathrada, saying he would have liked to attend the function, but "due to unforeseen circumstances, he couldn't be here".

The 87-year-old, who has been an activist since the age of 12, has been in hospital for some time now.

"He is kept in a sedated state and is not communicating at the moment. We are not able to allow visitors at this time, simply because this kind of operation cannot withstand any infection, we have had to decline ministers and mayors [from] coming," Balton said.

Read more on:    anc  |  ahmed kathrada  |  johannesburg

Join the conversation! 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.

Inside News24

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.


10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham

Here are just ten of our favourite plus-sized models:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content these holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
How to open a beer bottle without an opener
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


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.