Veteran South African anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada, who was sentenced to life imprisonment alongside Nelson Mandela and went on to be an open critic of President Jacob Zuma, died on Tuesday aged 87.
Affectionately known as “Uncle Kathy”, the liberation struggle stalwart who spent 26-years in prison under the apartheid government, was hospitalised in Johannesburg this month after surgery to relieve blood clotting on the brain.
Kathrada’s foundation said his condition had deteriorated rapidly with pneumonia affecting both lungs. It announced his death at 6 a.m. local time (0400 GMT).
President Jacob Zuma said Kathrada would be honoured at an official state funeral and flags at government offices would fly at half-mast until then.
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Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu said Kathrada helped inspire the world’s confidence in South Africa‘s long battle against white-minority rule.
“May Ahmed rest in peace and rise in glory,” Tutu said in a statement. “May he rejoice in many heavenly cups of hot chocolate with his old friends and comrades''.
Report by TVC News