The wife of late anti-apartheid struggle veteran Ahmed Kathrada, Barbara Hogan, and the stalwart’s family members will not be in the National Assembly during a special sitting this afternoon.
The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation has confirmed that invitations were extended at short notice to Hogan and the Kathrada family to attend the sitting.
Hogan, herself a former minister of public enterprises who has previously gone on record as saying she might have been removed from the position because she was not amenable to state capture efforts, will be attending “another family bereavement”.
The Kathrada family, according to the foundation, is unable to do so because of “it being the Muslim month of Ramadaan”.
Nishan Boltan, an executive director at the foundation, said in a press statement that “parliamentarians can honour Kathrada by supporting motion of no confidence in Zuma”.
“However, a truly fitting statement to Kathrada would be to speak to the issue that troubled him up to his last days – the conduct of President Jacob Zuma,” Boltan said in the statement.
While the foundation expressed appreciation to the National Assembly for convening the sitting at which MPs will reflect on Kathrada’s contribution to the dawn of democracy, it also regards anything other than the removal of Zuma as a red herring.
“The tribute session comes at a time when the role of parliament and its members has come under immense scrutiny. The role of the National Assembly in holding the executive to account is amongst the key issues of concern to many today.
“It was the National Assembly’s failure to hold the president to account for the Nkandla issue and the subsequent ruling by the Constitutional Court on the matter that prompted Kathrada to write to the president imploring him to resign. He considered such a resignation to be in the interests of the country and of the governing party,” the foundation said.
“If the National Assembly was serious in its intention to honour Kathrada, it would not only lend its voice to the call made by Kathrada and many others – it would act on it when the motion of no confidence in the president comes up in the near future,” it added.