Hamba Kahle, Comrade Kathy

2017-03-28 10:09
Ahmed Kathrada (Mlungisi Louw, Netwerk24)

Ahmed Kathrada (Mlungisi Louw, Netwerk24)

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TIMELINE: Ahmed Kathrada through the years

2017-03-28 07:12

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation has confirmed that 87-year-old stalwart Ahmed Kathrada died in the early hours of Tuesday morning at the Donald Gordon Hospital in Johannesburg.WATCH

Johannesburg – The ANC and DA on Tuesday paid their respects to Ahmed Kathrada, who died in the early hours of the morning.

He would be remembered for his deep, abiding faith and sacrifices he made for South Africa’s liberation, the ANC said of one of its long-standing members.

“The nation has lost a titan, an outstanding leader and a great patriot - a man who stands apart for his service to the people of South Africa, and to the country,” it said in a statement.

Uncle Kathy, as he was fondly known, died following a short illness on Tuesday morning. He had undergone an operation to remove a blood clot on his brain and subsequently contracted pneumonia.

'Unwavering commitment to justice and reconciliation'

He had received the title of Isithwalandwe or Seaparankoe, the highest honour in the ANC for those who had made outstanding contributions and sacrifices during the liberation struggle.

Towards the end of his life, Kathrada had been critical of the party’s leadership and asked for President Jacob Zuma to step down. He was part of a group of over 100 ANC stalwarts calling for the ANC to do some introspection.

Until his hospitalisation, the Rivonia trialist had been an active and vocal participant in the ANC.

“His was a constant, steady and moral voice, and we are all the poorer to have lost him,” the ANC said.

Kathrada’s life was a lesson in humility, tolerance, resilience, and commitment to principle.

It acknowledged that his outspoken nature at times placed him at odds with comrades, but he never turned his back on the party.

Compassion, commitment to justice

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said Kathrada embodied compassion and commitment to justice.

“He told me of the years on Robben Island where he – along with the likes of Mandela, Sisulu and Tambo – never heard or saw the presence of children,” said Maimane.

He said Kathrada had told him that freedom meant hearing the voices of children. This was an indication of his compassion and his commitment to the country’s future.

"Hamba kahle Uncle Kathy. May your unwavering commitment to justice and reconciliation live on in all of us, he said.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  ahmed kathrada

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