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Kathrada, 85, and still batting

Cape Town - Nelson Mandela’s cellmate Ahmed Kathrada turns 85 this week and shows no signs of slowing down, with a series of events planned to mark his birthday on Thursday.

He plans to spend the morning with pupils in Lenasia, Johannesburg. His Ahmed Kathrada Foundation said in a statement he felt it important to celebrate with young people.

Nelson Mandela's cellmate Ahmed Kathrada turns 85 this week and shows no signs of slowing down. Picture: Chris Collingridge. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

He plans to join the Constitutional Court’s Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke for a public talk at Wits University’s Great Hall on Friday.

Mandela’s widow Graça, is expected to be the guest speaker at a birthday banquet in Joburg on Saturday.

Foundation director Neeshan Balton said each event would “honour Kathrada’s role as a lifelong activist”.

“We looked at Kathrada’s life and saw that he has been a consistent activist since the age of 12. Even at the age of 85, Kathrada remains an advocate for non-racialism, and has supported causes, such as the Palestinian one,” said Balton.

Kathrada was sentenced to life imprisonment in the Rivonia Trial.

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