uAhmed Kathrada (21 August 1929-28 March 2017)

Namuhla, iNingizimu Afrika izilele ukudlula emhlabeni kwesishoshovu sepolitiki, neqhawe lomzabalazo, uAhmed Mohamed Kathrada. Ngesikhathi ethula inkulumo kwi SAFM wabuzwa ukuthi angathanda ukukhunjulwa kanjani? Waphendula wathi, ‘Njengomuntu ozamile ukuba nomthelela. Sazama.’ Uma ubheka udaba lwaleqhawe kusobala ukuthi uAhmed Kathrada kuningi akwenza kunokuzama.

Ahmed Kathrada and Molvi Yusuf Cachalia, members of the Transvaal Indian Congress, circa 1950

u-Ahmed Kathrada noMolvi Yusuf Cachalia, we-Transvaal Indian Congress, ngowe 1950

Baziwa kakhulu ngo ‘Uncle Kathy’, impokophelo yakhe yabonakala esemncane – eneminyaka eyi 12 waba yilunga leYoung Communist League of SA, esiza ngokusabalalisa amaphepha alenhlangano. Waqhubeka kuleyominyaka kwathi ngesikhathi seMpi yoMhlaba Yesibili wabamba iqhaza kumkhankaso wababengahambisani nempi we Non European United Front. Ngenxa yemigobo yebala yangalesosikhathi, wayengakwazi ukungena ezikoleni zabamhlophe noma zabamnyama endaweni yangakubo eSchweizer Reneke. Walibhekisa eGoli lapho afunda eJohannesburg Indian High School, nekuyilapho ahlangana khona namalunga eTransvaal Indian Congress kanye neANC, oDr Yusuf Dadoo, Walter Sisulu noNelson Mandela.

Police photo of Ahmed Kathrada at the time of his arrest at Liliesleaf Farm, July 1963

Isithombe esathetshulwa ngamaphoyisa ngenkathi u-Ahmed Kathrada eboshwa epulazini i-Liliesleaf, ngoNtulikazi kowe-1963

Ukuzinikela kwakhe emzabalazweni kwadlondlobala. Waba yingxenye yomnkankaso i-Passive Resistance Campaign (1946-1948) eyayiphikisana ne ‘Ghetto Act’ eyayivimbela amaNdiya ukuhlala ezindaweni ezithile nokuba ngabanikazi bomhlaba. Lokhu kwaholela ekuboshweni isikhathi esiyinyanga eyodwa kukaKathrada eThekwini eneminyaka engu 17. Lokhu kwakuyisiqalo! Eminyakeni engamashumi amabili kusukela lapho, uKathrada waboshwa izikhathi eziwu 18, kuhlanganiswa ukuboshelwa ekhaya lapho ayengavunyelwe ukuba ngaphandle amahora angu 13 ngosuku, nangempelasonto namaholidi. Noma kwaku nalemikhawulo uKathrada waqhubeka nokusebenza neANC, wagcina esishaya indiva isigwebo sakhe waya elubhacweni.

NgoJuly 1963, amaphoyisa ahlasela iLiliesleaf Farm eRivonia, eyayisetshenziswa njengendawo eyimfihlo ngamalunga eANC neCommunist Party ukubamba imihlangano. Lokhu kwaholela kwi ‘Rivonia Trial’ lapho uKathrada nabanye abayisikhombisa bagwetshwa odilakajele. Wayeneminyaka engu 34.

Wahlala iminyaka engu 26 ejele, ewu 18 yayo wayeseRobben Island, wagcina ephume ejele ngo 15 October 1989 eneminyaka engu 60. Wamukelwa njengeqhawe eSoweto ngemuva kokukhululwa kwakhe, wethula inkulumo kubantu abawu 5000 lapho athi: “Angikaze ngicabange ukuthi ngiyonikwa lelizinga

West London Anti-Apartheid group petitioning for Kathrada's release, circa 1970

Amalungu e-London Anti-Apartheid group ayebhikishela ukukhululwa kuka-Kathrada ngowe 1970

Ngemuva kokuphuma kwakhe kokugunyazwa kweANC, uKathrada wekhethwa engqungqutheleni yokuqala esemthethweni ukuba sesigungwini esiphezulu seANC eyayibanjelwe eThekwini ngo 1990. Iminyaka ewu 9 elandelayo, uKathrada ube nezikhundla ezahlukene kwezepolitiki, ukuba yilunga lephalamende, umeluleki wephalamende ehhovisi likamongameli waze wathatha umhlalaphansi kwezepolitiki ngo 1999.

Kuyabonakala odabeni lwakhe kwi Wikipedia, lesikhungo saziwa ngokushicilela okuyiqiniso ngokuthi uAhmend Kathrada bamchaza njengendoda ‘eqotho’. ENingizimu Afrika bambalwa abantu abanikele ngempilo yabo ukulwela intuthuko ezweni lethu kanye nabantu balo. Kungokukhulu ukudabuka ukuthi sivalelise ku-Uncle Kathy.

Izithombe zivela kwabe-www.sahistory.org.za nabe-www.aamarchives.org

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