The family of South Africa’s former political prisoner and anti-apartheid activist, Ahmed Kathrada has refused that President Jacob Zuma will speak during Kathrada’s funeral.
A reliable Source from the family said this on Tuesday following Zuma’s “special official funeral” for the late Rivonia Treason Trialist and stalwart who died at the early hours of Tuesday, March 28.
Jacob Zuma declared a “special official funeral” for the stalwart of the liberation struggle, Ahmed Kathrada, who passed away in hospital on Tuesday morning after a brain surgery.
While sending his condolences to the bereaved family, Zuma ordered that the national flag be left flying at half-mast at every station in the country from Tuesday until the evening of Kathrada’s official memorial service .
“President Zuma sends his deepest condolences to his partner, former Minister of Public Enterprises Ms Barbara Hogan, the Kathrada family and his political home, the African National Congress, which Uncle Kathy served selflessly throughout his adult life,” the Presidency said in a statement.
“Uncle Kathy”, as he was affectionately known, was tried and sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island prison along with former President Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu. He was one of the longest serving political prisoners in the country.
The ruling ANC also related their pains on the loss of the rare germ whom they honored in 1992 for his selfless dedication to the struggle for a free democratic non-racial and non-sexist South Africa.
Kathrada, before his death, was strongly involved in politics and this landed him into numerous troubles. in Most situations in the 50s, he was arrested while defending just course.
For example, he was arrested during the Defiance Campaign of 1952 under the Suppression of Communism Act; in 1953 and 1954 while opposing forced removals in Sophiatown; and in December 1956 alongside 155 others on charges of treason.
The stalwart keeps his peace on situations that require urgent interventions, especially on political matters and issues affecting SA citizens.
After a long life dedicated to phases of the struggle against apartheid, Kathrada was vocal in his public criticism of the government formed by the ANC of which he remained a loyal member until the very end.
His ire was particularly reserved for President Jacob Zuma. In an open letter to Mr Zuma he outlined his long dedication to the cause of dismantling apartheid.
Not minding that Zuma is the President and leader of his party, Kathrada castigated Zuma on various aspects of the president’s public life, including Nkandla, his association with the Gupta family, among other concerns. He concluded by asking the President to resign immediately.
The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, which he founded, continues to work towards promoting ‘the values, rights and principles enshrined in the Freedom Charter and the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa’.
Kathrada is survived by his life partner, Barbara Hogan.