Statement Of Condolence By
Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP
President Of The Inkatha Freedom Party
The passing of Mr Ahmed Kathrada is a painful moment for our nation. We have lost another of our liberation icons. His voice will never be silenced, but we will miss his contribution as we continue the journey of democracy.
Mr Kathrada was one of a generation who fought, sacrificed and worked to secure the freedoms we enjoy today, and he did so with courage and integrity. I am saddened to say farewell, for he was a good friend.
We became close because of our shared love of South Africa. Over eight decades we witnessed countless milestones and endured endless hardships in the pursuit of political liberation. But we were blessed to be among those who saw liberation achieved, and we went on to contribute to the strengthening of a fledgling democracy.
Mr Kathrada began his activism for the sake of our country at a young age, and continued to seek the best for South Africa into his twilight years. His letter to President Zuma, urging the President to submit to the will of the people, will be remembered as the act of a courageous patriot. It is evidence of the same courage that he showed during the Treason Trial and his subsequent incarceration for 26 years.
I am grateful that this generation can draw on the wisdom and experience of Mr Kathrada, for his remarkable life and character have been captured in speeches, interviews and statements. Those who want to know who he was can turn to film and watch “A Man for All Seasons” or can read his own book, “Triumph of the Human Spirit”.
His legacy will continue to influence those willing to learn from our nation’s past. It saddens me though that there are so few leaders today who are cast in the mould of people like Mr Kathrada. I pray that more leaders like him will be born into the future South Africa.
On behalf of the IFP, I offer condolences to Mr Kathrada’s beloved partner, Mrs Barbara Hogan, to their families and friends, and to the many who feel the sorrow of his passing.
May “Uncle Kathy” rest in peace.