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Message of condolence by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on the passing of Isithwalandwe, Ahmed Kathrada

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It was with a profound sense of loss that I learned of the passing this morning of Ahmed Kathrada, a beloved comrade, father and friend.

A warm, courageous, compassionate and resolute person, Kathy will be missed by the many people whose lives he touched and enriched.

I join the people of South Africa – and friends from across the world – in extending my deepest sympathies to his wife, Barbara, and his family, friends and comrades. Your love and support sustained him through a lifetime of service, sacrifice and struggle.

He will be remembered as an unassuming freedom fighter, whose wisdom, tolerance, humility, steadfastness and humour earned him the love and respect of our people.

After his release from prison, after the achievement of democracy and the adoption of a new democratic Constitution, even as others contemplated retirement, Kathy was determined to continue to serve the people.

The establishment of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation was born out of his conviction that he could not rest for as long as the people of this country were not free from want, hunger and ignorance.

After a lifetime of struggle, the work of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation will cement his legacy as a resolute champion of non-racialism, reconciliation and nation building.

His dedication, through the Foundation, to the development of a new generation of young leaders will ensure that his impact on the development of a new, better society will endure for years to come.

As we mourn the passing of Ahmed Kathrada, we celebrate a life that was lived in the service of humanity.

As we prepare to lay his mortal remains to rest, we are reminded of our solemn duty to live by his example and to complete his work.


Note to editors:

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was the founding Chairperson of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation.


Issued by: The Presidency
Pretoria