Nelson Mandela’s closest colleague in the anti-apartheid struggle dies aged 87 0

Celebrated South African anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada, a Robben Island prisoner and one of Nelson Mandela’s closest colleagues in the struggle against white rule, died early Tuesday aged 87.

Kathrada was among those tried and jailed alongside Mandela in the Rivonia trial in 1964, which drew worldwide attention to the brutalities of the apartheid regime. He died in hospital in Johannesburg after a short illness following brain surgery, his charity foundation said.

Kathrada spent 26 years and three months in prison, 18 of which were on Robben Island, the notorious jail off the coast of Cape Town.

After the end of apartheid, he served from 1994 to 1999 as parliamentary counselor to President Mandela in the first African National Congress (ANC) government.

Retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu described Kathrada as “a man of remarkable gentleness, modesty and steadfastness,” hailing him a moral leader of the anti-apartheid movement.

“These were people of the highest integrity and moral fibre who, through their humility and humanity, inspired our collective self-worth -– and the world’s confidence in us,” Tutu said in a statement.

Culled from Concisenews