Press release: Freedom is a gift from leaders like Kathrada

The freedom that we celebrate today is a precious gift bequeathed to us by leaders such as Ahmed Kathrada, says Brand South Africa’s CEO Kingsley Makhubela.

Ahmed Kathrada’s quest for a great South Africa did not end after the advent of democracy. He continued serving the country as a political adviser to President Nelson Mandela after 1994. (Image: Shamin Chibba)

Johannesburg, Wednesday 29 March 2017 – “The nation will always remember struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada as a hero and freedom fighter, but mostly for his magnanimous and selfless sacrifices for a free, just and democratic South Africa,” said Brand South Africa CEO, Dr Kingsley Makhubela.

Fondly known as ‘uncle Kathy’ to South Africans, the former political prisoner and anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada who is being laid to rest today – passed away at age 87 in the early hours of Tuesday morning at the Donald Gordon Hospital in Johannesburg.

Kathrada spent 26 years in jail,18 of which on Robben Island – after being convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment, with hard labour, alongside Mandela, Denis Goldberg, Andrew Mlangeni, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Raymond Mhlaba and Elias Motsoaledi during the Rivonia Treason trial.

He was released from prison on 15 October 1989, at the age of 60. In 1994, Kathrada was elected as a member of parliament for the ANC, and served as Parliamentary Counsellor to President Nelson Mandela until 1999.

“The freedom that we celebrate today is a precious gift bestowed to us by leaders like ‘uncle Kathy’. South Africa has lost one of its greatest leaders – an honourable man who represented peace and justice for all. In honour of his memory and to celebrate his legacy, all South Africans should strive to make our country better by protecting the freedom that so many who came before us fought for and died for.

“We wish to express our most sincere condolences to the family and loved ones of struggle hero. We share in your mourning, and hope you find comfort in the tributes pouring in from the nation and the world,” concluded Dr Makhubela.

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