Another spear has fallen with the passing of political activist and struggle icon Ahmed Kathrada. He was the most disciplined cadre in the history of the African National Congress.
Millions of people came to revere A.K. He won the reverence of the people by the simplicity and austerity of his life. He was a man of peace in a world of war. He valiantly, over 5 decades, fought relentlessly to eradicate the vilest political system on earth.
Ahmed Kathrada has departed and all over South Africa, there is a feeling of having been left desolate and forlorn.
Service to the masses was his purpose. Courage was his defining characteristic and patriotism, his impetus. A.K. is a hero of national history whose legendary memory will be enshrined in the millennial epoch. Even today, we must admit to be in awe of this remarkable person, and perhaps that needs to be reigned in admiration and the deepest respect certainly for his courage and steadfastness to devote his life for the cause of justice and equality.
He risked the death penalty to save us from tyranny. He was our emancipator from bondage and serfdom.
The day of freedom ultimately came. Carved in the pages of South Africa’s history, the name of Ahmed Kathrada stands for all time, both as an example and an inspiration. His death will serve to remind generations of our people of a generous and fearless personality, and of a life of nobility and patriotism, service and sacrifice.
Here is a sad occasion when one can say truthfully that Africa is poorer today, poorer not merely by the death of this great political colossus of this era, but because his death leaves a big hole in the lives of his multitude of many friends and on the ramparts of our nation.
His heart was opened to the tribulations of his people, who from that day onwards gave his mind and soul to their salvation. His death is truly a loss to mankind which needs the living light of those ideals of justice and tolerance for which he strove and died.
In her hour of sorrow, South Africa can be proud of having given Africa a man of imperishable renown, and is confident that his example will be a source of inspiration and strength in the fulfilment of her destiny.
Ahmed Kathrada will remain a perennial symbol of individual excellence. Hamba Kahle Kathy.