Kathrada ‘last of a generation’
MATTHEW SAVIDES, NALEDI SHANGE and SUTHENTIRA GOVENDER | 2017-03-29 06:42:44.0
Ahmed Kathrada, Winnie Mandela, Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu at an ANC welcome rally at the FNB Stadium in Soweto in 1990.
Image by: PAUL WEINBERG
Tributes have poured in for ANC stalwart Ahmed Kathrada, who died in hospital early yesterday.
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela said Kathrada’s death pained her in the same way the death of her former husband Nelson Mandela had.
Speaking at the Nelson Mandela Foundation following a commemoration for Kathrada, she said: “It wasn’t just the passing of another stalwart. It was a rehash of Madiba’s passing and it was emotional.
“His parting brings finality to a chapter in the history of our struggle. All that he had fought for is not going on today.”
Kathrada wrote to President Jacob Zuma last year imploring him to resign.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation had been borne out of the ANC veteran’s “conviction that he could not rest as long as the people of this country were not free from want, hunger and ignorance”.
The Oliver and Adelaide Tambo Foundation said: “He was not afraid to be the lone voice of caution, even when others feared recrimination in doing so. He believed in honesty and integrity above all.”
UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said Kathrada was “part of a crop of ANC leaders that we will forever idealise because of their style of leadership and the sacrifices they made in their efforts to free the oppressed masses of South Africa”.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu said: “When the gates of apartheid’s political prisons swung open in 1989 the quality of the humans who emerged was an extraordinary blessing for all South Africans.
“These were people of the highest moral fibre who, through their humility and humanity, inspired our collective self-worth and the world’s confidence in us.”
Fellow Rivonia trialist Denis Goldberg said: “We fought apartheid because the lives of our people were stolen by apartheid – and now we’re thieving the things that our constitution is supposed to defend in the name of crookery.”
DA leader Mmusi Maimane recalled a conversation he had with Kathrada .
“He shared with me that for him freedom meant hearing the voices of children, indicating his commitment to the future of our beautiful country,” he said.