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Veteran South African anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada passes away

Mar 29, 2017 09:35 IST

Indian-origin anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada passed away on 28 March 2017 after complications following a brain surgery in Johannesburg.

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Settled in South Africa, Kathrada was one of Nelson Mandela's closest aides in his struggle to end the white minority rule. During his struggle, he spent 26 years and 3 months in prison, including 18 years on the infamous Robben Island.

About Ahmed Kathrada

• Kathrada was among three political prisoners who were sentenced to life imprisonment after the infamous Rivonia Trial of 1964. The two others were Andrew Mlangeni and Denis Goldberg.
• They played major roles in shaping the country's policies after Mandela's election as the first democratic President of South Africa in 1994.
• After the end of apartheid, he served from 1994 and 1999 as parliamentary counsellor to President Mandela in the first African National Congress (ANC) government.
• Kathrada also received the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award, India's highest honour for foreign nationals of Indian-origin, in 2005 from the Indian President.
• As a prolific writer, Kathrada penned six books himself or with co-authors.
• Kathrada was born in 1929 to Indian immigrant parents in northwestern South Africa.

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