28 March 2017

SAHA pays tribute to Ahmed Kathrada

We mourn the death of a struggle icon

Rest in Peace Ahmed Kathrada

 Ahmed Kathrada on his release  Al2547_21.3.12

Pictured here Kathrada who had been just been released from imprisonment (AL2547_21.3.12)

Photographer: Eric Miller

Ahmed Kathrada passed away on 28 March 2017 at the age of 87. He played an important part in shaping South Africa's political landscape. A moment of silence was observed by the SAHA staff as we contemplated his contributions to both SAHA and South Africa. 

Kathrada began his political career at the tender age of 12 when he joined the Young Communist League. He always fought against injustice and inequality be it in passive resistance, civil disobedience, or as a leader of the defiance campaign. He was involved in the treason trail and later convicted during the Rivonia Trial. Kathrada spent many years in incarceration on Roben Island along with Nelson Mandela and the other trialists. 

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, which he founded, continues to work towards promoting ‘the values, rights and principles enshrined in the Freedom Charter and the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa’. SAHA houses part of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation Collection (AL3300) first created in September 2015 as a digital collection, intended to create access to various digital records relating to the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation's work on non-racialism, through SAHA's online repository "Tracing the Unbreakable Thread"

Portrait of Ahmed Kathrada prior to imprisonment 	AL2547_16.2.22

A portrait of A. Kathrada prior to imprisonment (AL2547_16.2.22)

 "What inspired us [ prisoners] very much was the formation of the United Democratic Front, which was after the defiance campaign, but much bigger than the defiance campaign. It was 600 different organisations, and that is where you had participation of all groups all over the country." - Ahmed Kathrada comments on his vision of non racialism in an interview for the SAHA non racialism project


Sticker from the SAHA ephemera collection. (AL2540_D0479)


Useful Links:

Tracing the Unbreakable Thread SAHA Virtual Exhibiition 

Ahmed Kathrada Foundation Collection (AL3300)