Kathrada was incorruptible‚ says Mantashe
Naledi Shange | 2017-03-29 12:17:33.0
African National Congress (ANC) Secretary General Gwede Mantashe. File photo.
Image by: SIPHIWE SIBEKO
ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe on Wednesday painted Ahmed Kathrada as a model leader who had integrity.
Speaking at Kathrada’s funeral at the Westpark Cemetery in Johannesburg‚ Mantashe said Kathrada was “incorruptible‚ not only in his politics but also in his personal life.”
“He was a man you knew who would never let you down‚ he would never do something behind your back and never deceive you. You always knew where you stood with him. Sometimes his words were harsh and hurtful but they were never dishonest‚” Mantashe said‚ receiving applause from hundreds of mourners.
Last year‚ Kathrada penned a letter to President Jacob Zuma‚ imploring him to resign.
Kathrada said he was worried about the state of nation under Zuma’s leadership.
This came after major political upheaval‚ including the removal of Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene.
Mantashe said veterans were correct to give direction to the country’s current leaders.
“I want to appeal to veterans that they have a responsibility of guiding us and other generations of leaders that will come‚” Mantashe said.
Kathrada died on Tuesday after an operation linked to a blood clot in his brain.
He was 87.
Leader of the SA Communist Party Blade Nzimande said: “We dare not gamble with this movement in his honour‚” Nzimande said.
“We will continue to say no‚ no‚ no. It is unfortunate that he leaves at a time when his wisdom is needed more in our organisation‚” said Nzimande.
Meanwhile‚ Bheki Ntshalintshali of Cosatu gave a stern warning to the country’s leaders‚ saying they “are not organisations”.
“We must separate them. Leaders will come and go but organisations will remain. No matter how popular you may be‚ but never for the moment think you are bigger than the organisation‚” Ntshalintshali said.
He added that it was acceptable for leaders to be corrected.