Humairaa Mayet | 29 March 2021
28 March 2021 marked the fourth anniversary of the passing of apartheid freedom fighter, Ahmed Kathrada. Yesterday, friends and family of the activist gathered to pay tribute to his legacy at Westpark Cemetery in Johannesburg.
Kathrada, fondly known as ‘Uncle Kathy’, valiantly fought against the racist regime of apartheid in South Africa during the 20th century. He was a member of the Transvaal Indian Youth Congress and several other progressive organisations, many of which strongly condemned racism. In 1963, Kathrada and several other anti-apartheid activists were arrested and imprisoned for years following the Rivonia Trial.
Spending time in Pollsmoor Prison and on Robben Island did not break Kathrada’s spirit. Released in 1989, he continued fighting for social justice, joining both the African National Congress (ANC) and the South African Communist Party (SACP).
Taking a firm stance of racism of all sorts, Kathrada affirmed that non-racism and anti-racism were essential to building a democratic South Africa; one free of injustice and inequality. Today, his legacy is continued by the Kathrada Foundation based in Lenasia. The foundation seeks to raise awareness about his legacy and honour him by engaging communities, getting youth involved in activism, and spreading the teachings of Kathrada.
In 2017, at the age of 87, Kathrada passed away as a result of complications of a cerebral embolism. He is remembered fondly by those who had the pleasure of knowing him and South Africans across the country.
Image via: Wikipedia.