The Patron, the Board and staff of the Thabo Mbeki Foundation have learnt with great sadness, the passing of our leader, Isithwalandwe Ahmed Mohamed Kathrada.
Comrade Kathy as he was fondly known, dedicated all his adult life to the struggle against apartheid and the construction of a non-racial, non-sexist and democratic South Africa. For this principled stand, he, together with his fellow comrades, spent more than a quarter of a century on Robben Island.
Such was his commitment to principle that Comrade Kathy consciously refused to be broken by harassment, torture, imprisonment and the threat of much worse.
We are deeply encouraged that Comrade Kathy remained committed to principle to the end. As we remember a life so well lived, we cannot but reflect on the valuable counsel Comrade Kathy conveyed to all of us while he lived, including and in particular the importance of promoting the understanding that leaders exist to serve the people rather than to cultivate their personal interests.
It is often said of the passing of the heroic that it is the ‘end of an era.’ While this certainly applies to South Africa in many respects, the TMF believes that to the extent that the ideals for which Comrade Kathy fought are yet to be realised, we must do everything to ensure that the values which inspired him to battle germinate a million times over and produce more of his calibre who will, instead of submitting, vigorously prosecute the struggle for a South Africa that truly belongs to all who live in it.
Our thoughts and prayers go to Comrade Kathy’s partner Comrade Barbara Hogan, his wider family of comrades and friends.
As the poet said, “Death be not proud!” May Comrade Kathy’s soul rest in peace.
A luta continua!
A vitória é certa!
Issued by the Thabo Mbeki Foundation
March 28, 2017