Minister Pandor: Uncle Kathy was warm and loving

Wednesday, March 29, 2017
More Matshediso

Johannesburg - Ahmed ‘Kathy’ Kathrada is remembered by most as a man of great integrity, for never being silent about what he stood for and his courage to speak truth to power.

Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor is one of those who gathered to pay tribute to Kathrada, who was laid to rest at Westpark Cemetery in Johannesburg on Wednesday. Minister Pandor remembered Uncle Kathy, as he was affectionately known, as a warm and loving person.

The Minister spoke to SAnews just after the burial of the struggle stalwart.

“He was a very approachable person. Everyone could approach him, young or old,” said the Minister.

She said Kathrada had no pride or vanity. “He had brilliant humour, by the way. People are not talking about that. He told brilliant jokes.”

She said Kathrada was in the liberation movement with her parents, particularly her father, Joe Mathews.

“They would meet, even after they have retired, for tea just to reflect on the good old days and the struggle, but also what needs to be done.

She also remembers Kathrada as a fellow Member of Parliament. “He never gave us problems. When he had to be in Parliament, he was always there. I feel that he is a man who would always do his duty and go beyond it. He has always shown commitment in all that he has done, and he executed what needs to be done with discipline.”

Kathrada’s funeral was attended by people from all walks of life, including various faith based organisations. Muslim rites were observed at the Heroes Acre in Westpark Cemetery.

Two former Presidents of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe, sat near Kathrada’s coffin in a marquee that covered over a thousand mourners at the burial site.

Former President Motlanthe delivered the eulogy. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was also in attendance, together with Nelson Mandela’s widow Graca Machel, Zelda La Grange, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Max Sisulu and Sophie Williams-de Bruyn, among others.

A number of Ministers including Gugile Nkwinti, Blade Nzimande and Jeff Radebe were also at the funeral to pay their last respects. Members of various political parties were also in attendance. -

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