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Office for International Education

Despite Ahmed Kathrada being elderly, the news of his illness and subsequent passing still came as a shock to many around the country including staff of the OIE at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU). Today we reflect back to 2010, when ‘Uncle Kathy’ graced the NMMU with his presence to celebrate the 150 year anniversary of the arrival of Indian people in South Africa in 1860.

Born in 1929 in the North West Province, Ahmed Kathrada began his political career at the tender age of 12 when he joined the Young Communist League of South Africa. He went on to join the African National Congress with the alliance between the African and Indian National Congress in 1947.
In 1963, Kathrada was arrested on charges of High Treason and was sentenced to life in prison along with the likes of Nelson Mandela, Govan Mbeki, Raymond Mhlaba, Walter Sisulu, Dennis Goldberg, Elias Motsoaledi and Andrew Mlangeni. He was released 26 years later and following the unbanning of the ANC in 1990, was elected onto the National Executive Committee of the ANC. With the first democratic elections in 1994, Kathrada was elected as a member of parliament and served as a Parliamentary Councilor in the Office of the President until 1999.

Ahmed Kathrada joined the celebrations of the OIE and the NMMU on the 15th of May, 2010 to celebrate the 150 year anniversary of the arrival of Indians in South Africa in 1860. With a full cultural day of dance, food and other forms of displays, Kathrada delivered the keynote address to students and members of the Nelson Mandela Bay community on the arrival of Indians in South Africa in 1860 and their contribution to the struggle for freedom in South Africa. The Office for International Education remembers and  pays tribute today to ‘Uncle Kathy’ for his contribution to freedom in South Africa and for all  he strived for throughout his life.

Posted on 06 April 2017 09:10:38

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