Johannesburg - Struggle veteran Ahmed Kathrada is slowly recovering, much to the relief of well-wishers who gathered on Tuesday at Liliesleaf Farm in Rivonia.
His condition is said to have improved in the last 48 hours.
“He’s no longer in a sedated state. The seizures from the operations have stopped and his speech has improved although it will take time.”
This is according to Ahmed Kathrada Foundation CEO Neeshan Balton, who addressed a number of visitors on Tuesday at Liliesleaf farm where an inter-faith prayer meeting was held for the stalwart.
Balton said while Kathrada’s state of health was unpredictable, he had made significant progress.
Countless messages of good health and prayers continue to flood in from local South Africans and abroad.
Balton said Kathrada, who is one of the remaining three Rivonia trialists, still had an immense contribution to make.
“His desire towards the end of last year was to reach beyond the ANC. He wanted us to organise a trip to Robben Island with DA leader Mmusi Maimane and EFF leader Julius Malema (to engage them as young leaders and not about their respective parties),” he said.
Balton said Liliesleaf was an appropriate venue to gather for interfaith prayer and to wish the anti-Apartheid activist well.
“We are confident that he will recover and that he will tell the mayor (Herman Mashaba) that he is a free man of the city and to take his water bill to him,” he joked.
Balton also condemned the fake news about Kathrada’s death that circulated on social media recently saying these were malicious and callous.
“The family will give a statement if his condition deteriorates,” Balton said, adding that the foundation will continue giving updates on its social media pages.
More telling of the respect Kathrada commands was the presence of fellow Struggle icons such as Sophie de Bruyn, Kathrada’s friend Laloo Isu Chiba, human rights lawyer advocate George Bizos and a handful of ambassadors who came to wish the ANC member well on Human Rights Day.
The foundation’s chairperson Derek Hanekom said the day was just to encourage Kathrada, also referred to as “Kathy”, to get better soon as he has been an inspiration to all while De Bruyn said their presence was to reassure Kathrada of their love and prayers.
“You’re a fighter. You’ve always been a fighter. We ask that you don’t give up. We are with you,” De Bruyn said.
Gauteng MEC for education Panyaza Lesufi, MEC for transport Ismail Vadi and Joburg’s mayor Herman Mashaba were also present to convey their messages of support.