Struggle veteran Ahmed Kathrada File picture: Chris Collingridge/Independent Media

Johannesburg – Close family and friends took turns to visit struggle icon Ahmed Kathrada in hospital on Monday night as the Foundation announced that his condition was serious.

Nelson Mandela Foundation CEO Sello Hatang, politician and Ahmed Kathrada Foundation board member Max Sisulu, close friend Barbara Hogan, and Kathrada's niece Zohra were some of the people who were seen walking in and out of the Joburg hospital where the ANC stalwart is being treated.

Kathrada, 87, was admitted at the health institution almost three weeks ago to remove a clot from his brain. Although his condition was said to be stable post-surgery, it deteriorated after he contracted pneumonia as a result of post-surgery complications.


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According to the Foundation CEO Neeshan Balton, the pneumonia has affected both of Kathrada's lungs. "Despite appropriate care medical care, his condition is currently deteroriating. He's comfortable," he said.


He added: " We continue asking for prayers during this period both for Mr Kathrada and his family and friends."


Balton walked out of the hospital at about 7pm while Sisulu and Hogan sat at the coffee shop talking as more people trickled in.


Meanwhile, Hatang who had gone in to see the anti-apartheid activist earlier said nothing much had changed.


"Like, Neeshan said, it's not looking too good," he said.


Kathrada's friend and fellow comrade Essop Pahad confirmed on the phone that he had been to the hospital to visit him but would not comment any further and instead referred all questions to the Foundation.


A prayer meeting for Kathrada will be held at the Nelson Foundation on Tuesday morning.


The public has also been encouraged to post messages and videos of support on social media platforms and to lookout for updates. Those wishing to send cards and flowers to show their support can leave them at the Foundation's office at the Sognet Terrace Office Park at no 19, Guinea-Fowl Street, Ext 1 in Lenasia.

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Political Bureau