Barbara Hogan rubbished President Jacob Zuma’s claim that Ahmed Kathrada's letter urging him to resign was manipulated. Picture: Denis Farrell/AP

Johannesburg - Barbara Hogan, widow of late African National Congress (ANC) struggle hero Ahmed Kathrada, on Monday rubbished President Jacob Zuma’s claim that her husband's letter urging him to resign was manipulated.

Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the party's national conference, Hogan said Zuma’s statement during an SABC interview was “shocking”.

Read: Foundation says Zuma's remarks insulting to struggle icon Kathrada

“I reject that with absolute contempt. Kathy decided quite a long time ago that he wanted to write that letter...it really hurts me because he spent months crafting that letter because he believed it was the most painful thing he ought to do,” said Hogan.

“This kind of thing of not looking into the message but discrediting the messenger is shocking.”

Also read: Kathrada's letter to Zuma

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation issued a statement on Sunday criticising Zuma’s comments. It said the outgoing ANC president’s misrepresentation of facts to South Africans was a sad “reflection of Zuma” who had simply dismissed Kathrada’s views as that of “an old man who had lost his mind”.

The letter and email correspondence were posted on the foundation’s website in response to Zuma’s interview.

African News Agency/ANA