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Obituary to Ahmed Kathrada

By Cde Wangu Mazodze, a family friend and comrade-in-arms

The Greatness in me salutes the greatness in Cde Ahmed Kathrada

The late Ahmed Kathrada
The late Ahmed Kathrada

Whereas my person possesses one of the best hard-thought- pain digestive systems, this is just too much for my now evidently proven feeble emotional infrastructure.

The demise of Cde Ahmed Mohamed Kathrada is just too much for my crushed soul. Like a ruminant, that chews the cud of incessant thought, mine is just too much to bear.

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I vividly remember when you visited my family upon your release from prison, the autographs you gave our family, embossed with your prison number 468/64, you have answered the call of the Maker too early my comrade.

In era when most liberation stalwarts have abandoned the moral creed, enjoying ill-gotten wealth, you have remained a light in darkness.

The African continent has lost a father and a leader whereas humanity has lost fatherhood and leadership.

A galaxy of awards to your name, honorary doctorate degrees from the Universities of Kentucky, Michigan State, Missouri, the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman from the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs and many others bear testimony of your greatness.

Today as the world celebrate your life, I and millions of others across the African continent, adjoin ourselves and vow to live lives of greatness, with altruism, love and respect for humanity as you did.

As is norm, there is no doubt that you shall surely join the nearest ANC branch wherever you will be in the company of the early departed comrades, Nelson Mandela, Govan Mbeki, Walter Sisulu, Chief Albert Luthuli, John Dube, Ray Mhlaba, Billy Nair, Elias Motsoaledi inta alia.

On another note, Cde Kathy you have a mammoth task in updating the immortal commandant of Umkhonto we Sizwe on the trajectory the ANC has since taken in the face of the multiplicity of scandals and state capture. I am proud of you that you have accounted yourself well in the face of the rot and decay being the voice of reason.

Cde Kathy, as we all used to call you, the entire Africa is in mourning. A somber atmosphere engulfs us.

From the gallant Rivonia Eight, sentenced to life in June 1964, we are only left with two of my good comrades Andrew Mlangeni and Denis Goldberg – this is too much to bear. Our best players are being transferred to a league and arena beyond our reach, where their excellence is enjoyed without our partaking – alas!

The Isitwalandwe Award, your most adorable movement, the ANC bestowed upon you, is the ceiling of our efforts yet the energy, zeal, sacrifice and commitment you gave to your motherland is beyond measure.

Cde Kathrada, your greatness is immense and epitomizes the apex of humanity. Your wise words and greatness is engraved in the architecture of the new democratic South Africa.

To the people of South Africa, Africa at large and the entire hominids at current evolvement, not excluding those in undefined phases, to the flora and fauna – let us be emboldened and emulate the greatness of comrade Kathy.

To comrade Barbra Hogan, please accept my condolences on behalf of myself and my family as we salute the greatness of my friend and a democrat per se.