The best tribute that can be given to fallen ANC veteran Ahmed Kathrada is to ensure that the process started by the 101 stalwarts, which seeks to correct the challenges faced by the ruling party and the country at large, continues, according to former president Thabo Mbeki.
He was addressing the media in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
“Continued engagement between the current leadership and the 101 stalwarts, which Kathy was part off, would be a real tribute.
“Kathy was hopeful about the future of the country and, as frail as he was, he was determined to make a contribution to fixing the problems faced by the ANC and the country,” said Mbeki.
Uncle Kathy, as many called him, was also described by other former colleagues and politicians as a principled man who always put others first.
The Citizen spoke to various prominent leaders, most of whom were, at one stage, part of the ruling ANC.
Bantu Holomisa, leader of the United Democratic Movement (UDM), described the struggle icon as a quiet, dignified person.
“I first met Kathy in 1989 while I was still with the ANC and he used to frequent Madiba’s office. They always showed respect to one another,” said Holomisa.
Another ANC stalwart, Denis Goldberg, described Kathrada as a “principled person” who was against the notion of remaining in power through self-enrichment.
“One of his biggest concerns was that our constitution, which many other great leaders fought so hard for, was no longer respected,” Goldberg said.
Congress of the People leader Mosiuoa Lekota said Kathrada taught us to “live our lives for other human beings”.