South African president, Jacob Zuma has described the death veteran anti-apartheid activist, Ahmed Kathrada, as a national loss.
Similarly, former president Thabo Mbeki described Kathrada’s death as great loss for the entire South African race.
The 87-year-old died on Tuesday following surgery to relieve blood clotting in his brain. Kathrada’s foundation announced his death on Twitter.
Affectionately known as “Uncle Kathy”, the liberation struggle stalwart was hospitalised earlier in the month. On Monday, the Foundation said his condition had deteriorated and was “serious” with pneumonia affecting both lungs.
Born to immigrant Indian parents in 1929, Kathrada became involved in politics at the age of 12.
And following decades of activism, he was sentenced to life imprison for treason in 1964, together with seven other ANC luminaries such as Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Govan Mbeki.