‘Kathy’s dream was to right the wrongs in the ANC’: Mbeki
TMG Digital | 2017-03-28 19:06:53.0
Veteran South African anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada and former president of South Africa Thabo Mbeki carry the Centenary torch during the ANC’s centenary celebration in Bloemfontein January 8, 2012.
Image by: SIPHIWE SIBEKO
Former President Thabo Mbeki says the best way to keep the legacy of the late ANC stalwart Ahmed Kathrada is to fulfil his dream and that of his fellow veterans and correct the wrongs in the ruling party.
Speaking at a media briefing on Tuesday afternoon‚ Mbeki first explained the role that the Kathrada played in the ANC‚ describing him a resourceful and modest person.
“We have lost one of the giants of our struggle. Kathy has been involved in the struggle since the 1940s and has sustained a particular position to the idea of the creation of a non-racial South Africa. He has stayed very loyal to that position. To lose a person like that [and] with his experience is obviously very painful. We could always consult him on issues to find how what he things on current matters…clearly it is a big loss‚” Mbeki said.
Kathrada died at 3.45 on Tuesday morning at the Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre in Johannesburg.
He was the one of the last three remaining Rivonia trialist – the other two being Andrew Mlangeni and Dennis Goldberg.
Mbeki described how people in the ANC adored Kathy.
“Kathy was a resource person because of his experience in the struggle and because of his own mind and intellect. Kathy was a very modest person. He was not a person who wants to shine or anything like that but carrying with him a lot of depth of knowledge… He has always been to me that resource person who brought us up political.”
The former president then suggested how South Africa and the ruling party could pay tribute to this giant of the struggle.
“Kathy wanted the challenges that the ANC and the country are facing [to be corrected]‚ that would be the best tribute to Kathy. That that process proceeds – the ANC veterans and the ANC leadership engage one another in order to come out with solutions to the many challenges the country faces.
“A real tribute to him would be to complete that process and ensure that it produces that kind of results that are needed‚” Mbeki said.
“He was keen that that process led by veterans should succeed. I must say that [he] was quite fearless in terms of his determination to confront what was wrong in the ANC. What he was hoping for is that that process would help produce the right results.”
He added that it was not surprising that Kathrada remained in the ANC despite being critical of some of the things that were happening in the party.
Mbeki did not want to be drawn on President Jacob Zuma’s decision to recall Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan from an investor roadshow in London.
“I don’t know. I have not spoken to President Zuma at all about this. I don’t know what this thing is all about so I wouldn’t want to speculate about it‚”he said.
TRIBUTE: Ahmed Kathrada in 26 words
– TMG Digital