The Kathrada Foundation confirmed his death on Tuesday morning. Struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada, fondly known as ‘Uncle Kathy’, has passed away.
The Kathrada Foundation confirmed that the 87-year-old passed away at the Donald Gordon Hospital on Tuesday morning. Kathrada’s health deteriorated on Monday after he was admitted to hospital for surgery related to blood clotting in the brain earlier this month.
The foundation’s director Neeshan Balton, confirmed in a statement released just before 06:00 that the anti-apartheid struggle veteran had “breathed his last today”.
“This is great loss to the ANC, the broader liberation movement and South Africa as a whole. Internationally, he was staunch in his support for the Palestinian struggle.
“‘Kathy’ was an inspiration to millions in different parts of the world,” Balton said.
He said Kathrada had passed away peacefully. This was after a short period of illness, following surgery to the brain earlier this month.
His condition worsened in the past 24 hours due to pneumonia which developed after the operation. Kathrada will be buried according to Muslim religious rights, details of which will be made publicly available in due course. Kathrada was born in the North-West town of Schweizer-Reneke in 1929.
He began his political career at the tender age of 17, leading to numerous incidents of incarceration before and after he joined the African National Congress (ANC).
Alongside seven others, which includes former President Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Govan Mbeki, Kathrada stood trial after he was arrested in a police raid on a meeting at the Liliesleaf Farm in Rivonia. The trial, more popularly known as “The Rivonia Trial”, ended in a sentence of life imprisonment and hard labour. Kathrada spent over 26 years on Robben Island.
In 1994 Ahmed Kathrada was appointed Member of Parliament after South Africa’s first democratic elections and also served as parliamentary counsellor in the office of his late comrade and friend, President Nelson Mandela.
Author: Staff Writer