Gerry Adams extends condolences on the death of Ahmed Kathrada ANC leader
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has expressed his “deep sense of loss at the news from South Africa of the death of Ahmed ‘Kathy’ Kathrada.”
Gerry Adams said:
“I first met Kathy in October 2001 when I travelled to Robben Island to unveil a monument to the hunger strikers. He was at that time responsible for Robben Island, a World Heritage site. Kathy was a gracious host who had spent 26 years of his life in prison – most of them on Robben Island with Nelson Mandela. On October 3rd 2001 we both unveiled a monument in the exercise yard overlooked by the cells, where Mandela, Walter Sisulu and other ANC leaders were held, to the republican hungers strikers who died in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh in the summer of 1981.
“Kathy was one of those imprisoned alongside Mandela during the Rivonia trial in 1964. He spent 18 years on Robben island. Subsequently during the negotiations for a free South Africa, and in the first ANC government, Kathy was a close confidant to President Mandela.
“Ahmed Kathrada was a committed advocate for human rights and freedom of speech throughout his life. He was fiercely anti-racist.
“He was especially active in support of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and against the injustice of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.
“I met Kathy again at Mandela’s funeral in December 2013. His speech that day was the most eloquent and emotional from one comrade at the loss of another.
“To President Zuma and the ANC leadership, to his family and friends and to his many comrades in South Africa and around the world I want to extend on my own behalf and that of Sinn Féin our sincere condolences at the death of this great revolutionary leader.”