The United Democratic Movement is saddened to hear that Struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada has passed away after his brief illness.

Another giant has left this earth.

I first met Kathy in 1989, in Mthatha, just after his and his comrades’ release from Robben Island. I was impressed with his quiet fortitude and dignity. He was part of a crop of leaders of the African National Congress (ANC) that we will forever idealise because of their style of leadership and the sacrifices they made in their efforts to free the oppressed masses of South Africa.

Most notable was the respectful and considered manner in which he always spoke with his comrades.

In his latter years, he was quite vocal about his disappointment with the current direction of the ANC and he leaves us at a time where his moral guidance is desperately needed.

We mourn his loss with the people of South Africa, and express our heartfelt condolences to his life partner, family and friends, as well as his colleagues.

Rest in Peace Kathy.