Cape Town honours Kathrada
Aphiwe Deklerk | 2017-03-29 11:54:26.0
ANC stalwart and struggle icon Ahmed Kathrada’s portrait. File photo.
Image by: Gallo Images / Beeld / Felix Dlangamandla
The City of Cape Town paid tribute to ANC struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada during a full council meeting on Wednesday.
Kathrada died in the early hours of Tuesday after being in hospital for the past month. He had undergone brain surgery to remove a blood clot before he died.
Kathrada had been award the freedom of the city by mayor Patricia de Lille at a ceremony held at the historic Cape Town City Hall in 2015.
Addressing the full sitting‚ De Lille said the country had lost a wonderful soul and a man who fought courageously with conviction against the unjust forces of the apartheid regime.
“We were honoured to have Uncle Kathy call Cape Town his home for the past few decades and that in his quest for a non-racial society‚ he endorsed the city’s inclusive anti-racism campaign‚” said De Lille.
She said Kathrada lived as an example to all and his legacy was such that it would reverberate for generations to come.
“We mourn a great man‚ an icon and a guardian of our freedom who continued to speak truth to power till his last days‚” she added.
De Lille said the city would be consulting Kathrada’s family to arrange a memorial service.
ANC leader in the council‚ Xolani Sotashe‚ also gave a moving tribute to Kathrada and sang a struggle song “Hamba kahle Mkhonto”.
“Uncle Kathy subjected himself to the constitution of the African National Congress he so dearly loved until his last breath. Uncle Kathy was very critical of foreign tendencies within our movement‚ but remained true to the values and the tradition and never betrayed the ANC‚” he said.
He said Kathrada would be received by ancestors of the ANC like John Dube‚ Pixley ka Isaka Seme‚ OR Tambo‚ Nelson Mandela and many others.
“Uncle Kathy‚ these giants have prepared your place in heaven. We shall continue to follow your footsteps and emulate your teachings‚” said Sotashe.
He said his party would do all in its power to defend the hard-fought democracy and would not betray its vision of non-racialism.