Honourable Speaker, and Honourable Members
The United Democratic Movement (UDM) appreciates the opportunity to honour, Ahmed Kathrada, a tower of strength and a source of inspiration to many generations; even if it could have been done earlier and better.
I had the honour to meet Kathy and his fellow Rivonia Trialists in Umtata in 1989. Their presence and words spoken at the welcome-home rally, we organised for them, gave us the courage to continue supporting the struggle for liberation, knowing that we were on the right side of history.
During my encounters with this stalwart, and others, they showed courage, humility and dignity. They reminded us that the seeming impossible can be done. They were always attentive, frank and robust when discussing issues.
Again in 1990, the Rivonia Trialists converged in Umtata to welcome home the late OR Tambo. At that time, in the company of the late Madiba and OR, we discussed our perspective on the so-called Black on Black violence.
I was accompanied by the current Military Ombudsman, General TT Matanzima and the current Commander of the United Nations Forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo, General DM Mgwebi.
We advised the leadership that the Apartheid government was negotiating in bad faith and that it was trying to catch the African National Congress (ANC) with a Trojan-Horse strategy.
At that time, it became clear that the National Party delegation (led by Mr Niel Barnard) and the ANC team (led by Mr Jacob Zuma) had failed to plan for the security of the leaders and activists.
It was a big security risk that could have created serious problems for the success of the negotiations; we therefore stepped in. The rest, as they say, is history.
Today, the UDM offers its condolences to Kathy’s wife and life-partner, Ms Barbara Hogan, the family, friends and the ANC.
During his last days, Kathy was deeply troubled by the conduct of the sitting Head of State and could not reconcile this conduct with the sacrifice he and other stalwarts made for this democracy.
I hope that this House will soon truly honour him by responding positively to his call to Mr Zuma to leave office; especially seen in the light of this most recent email scandal.
May his soul rest in peace.
I thank you.
Address by Mr Bantu Holomisa, UDM President, MP in the National Assembly