Tributes are pouring in for ANC stalwart Ahmed Kathrada‚ who died in the early hours of Tuesday.
Kathrada passed away at about 4am on Tuesday in a Johannesburg hospital after suffering complications from a medical procedure to deal with clotting on the brain. His condition had severely deteriorated in the hours leading up to his death.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation mourned the death of the ANC stalwart‚ while politicians past and present took to Twitter to salute Kathrada‚ including sports minister Fikile Mbalula and Jay Naidoo.
“Another giant has left this earth‚” said Bantu Holomisa‚ leader of the United Democratic Movement (UDM).
“I first met Kathy in 1989‚ in Mthatha‚ just after his and his comrades’ release from Robben Island‚” Holomisa said. “I was impressed with his quiet fortitude and dignity. He was part of a crop of leaders of the African National Congress (ANC) that we will forever idealise because of their style of leadership and the sacrifices they made in their efforts to free the oppressed masses of South Africa.”
Save South Africa said: “This is a sad moment for our nation‚ and yet one which should inspire us all to continue to fight for the kind of society Cde Kathy fought for. That is the greatest tribute we can pay to his contribution to our freedom.”
The City of Johannesburg said: “He was awarded Freeman of the City of Johannesburg in August 2012 for his contribution to South Africa’s struggle for freedom and democracy‚ and for his exceptional involvement in the betterment of the City of Johannesburg.”
The Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) said: “Uncle Kathy inspired confidence in all South Afrcans from young to old during both apartheid and democratic order.
“He worked very closely to many Robben Islanders and PAC leaders such as Zephania Mothopeng‚ Robert Sobukwe and many others in a bid to dismantle apartheid regime. He was a fearless man who identified himself with marginalised African dispossessed. He remains inspiration to us.”
Archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu said: “When the gates of apartheid’s political prisons swung open in 1989/1990 the quality of the human beings who emerged was an extraordinary blessing for all South Africans.