Cabinet meeting postponed to afternoon for Kathrada's funeral

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma has postponed the start of today’s Cabinet meeting to later this afternoon to enable members to attend the funeral of the late Ahmed Kathrada, says the Presidency.

The anti-apartheid struggle veteran will be laid to rest this morning at the Westpark Cemetery, in Johannesburg.

“Uncle Kathy”, as he was known - passed away at the Donald Gordon Hospital in Johannesburg in the early hours of Tuesday morning following a surgery on the brain. He was 87.

“President Zuma will not attend the funeral and memorial service in compliance with the wishes of the family,” the Presidency confirmed on Wednesday.

However, the President has declared a Special Official Funeral and directed that flags be flown at half-mast until the evening of the memorial service which is being organised by government.

President Zuma expressed deep sadness and extended his heartfelt condolences to former Public Enterprises Minister Barbara Hogan and family on the passing of one of the most respected struggle stalwarts and former Member of Parliament.

He described him as one of its valuable and most respected freedom fighters.

“The passing of Mr Kathrada is a monumental loss not only to his family but to all South Africans as he was one of the fearless and dedicated architects of the free and democratic South Africa. He sacrificed his personal freedom and persevered through hardships for the liberation of all South Africa and to create a democratic, non-racial, peaceful and prosperous South Africa,” the President said.

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation says members of the public and the media are welcome to attend the funeral ceremony.

The funeral cortege will leave the Masjid-ul-Furqaan in Houghton at 9am and proceed to West Park cemetery.  

The programme will include a political tribute session starting at 10am. This will be addressed by several speakers such as the former President of South Africa and Board member of the Kathrada Foundation, Kgalema Motlanthe and anti-apartheid struggle stalwart Sophie Williams-de Bruyn.

The tributes will then be followed by the ritual Muslim funeral prayer rites, which will commence at 11.30am at the cemetery. This will be followed by the final burial rites.

Joe Mafela

South Africa will also lay to rest veteran actor Joe Mafela- also at Westpark Cemetery.

His funeral service will take place at the University of Johannesburg’s Soweto campus.

The comedian, who was well known for his roles in in local sitcoms such as Sgudi 'Snaysi, Going Up and Madam and Eve, died in a car accident last weekend. - SAnews.gov.za

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