Struggle Hero Ahmed Kathrada dies and family requests Jacob Zuma not speak at his funeral.

Struggle Hero Ahmed Kathrada dies and family requests Jacob Zuma not speak at his funeral.

Sources had earlier told eNCA Ahmed Kathrada’s family have requested that President Jacob Zuma not speak at his funeral.

However, the Kathrada family has clarified the situation saying Zuma may attend, but will not be speaking.

Kathrada (87) died in the early hours of Tuesday morning, after a short illness.

After a long life dedicated to the various phases of the struggle against apartheid, Kathrada was vocal in his public criticism of the government formed by the ANC of which he remained a loyal member until the very end.

His ire was particularly reserved for the head of state, President Jacob Zuma. In an open letter to Mr Zuma he outlined his long dedication to the cause of dismantling apartheid.

He castigated himself for ‘not speak[ing] out’ on various aspects of the president’s public life, including Nkandla, his association with the Gupta family, among other concerns. He said he had thought the ‘NEC would have dealt with this as the collective leadership of the ANC’.


In the wake of the Constitutional Court judgment on the president’s handling of the Public Protector’s report on Nkandla, Kathrada did not mince his words.

“I am not a political analyst, but I am now driven to ask: “Dear Comrade President, don’t you think your continued stay as president will only serve to deepen the crisis of confidence in the government of the country?”

He went on to call for the president to resign to avoid further tarnishing of Zuma’s “outstanding contribution to the liberation struggle”.

“I know that if I were in the president’s shoes, I would step down with immediate effect,” Kathrada wrote.

The president has deployed his deputy to represent government at ‘Uncle Kathy’s farewell’ on Wednesday.