It was a life of service to others that Ahmed Kathrada devoted himself to while on this earth. At the tender age of 12, he was already aware of the injustices suffered by people around him, when he started distributing flyers for the Young Communist League of South Africa. How many of us could say that at such a young age we already had strong political awakening in our blood? A calling for respect to the value and dignity of all mankind.
Even before the age of 20, he joined the Transvaal Passive Resistance Council and his selflessness and passion for equality led him to devote his life to political activism, fighting for racial equality. His achievements are too numerous to even begin to mention. Perhaps many of us will always carry him in our memories as having been detained with the other African liberation stalwarts in the ‘Rivonia Trial’ - Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Dennis Goldberg, Raymond Mhlaba, Elias Motsoaledi and Andrew Mlangeni.
The whole of Africa, which stood by South Africa and indeed helped to fight for the liberation of its people, draws inspiration from the life and ideals by which Ahmed Kathrada lived.
The NEPAD Agency mourns with the rest of the world at the passing of an African legend. His intuition, insight and wisdom will be missed by all.
Dr Ibrahim Assane Mayaki
NEPAD Agency CEO