Ahmed Kathrada was described during a memorial service in Pretoria as a revolutionary and lifelong activist against racism. Photo: Henk Kruger/ANA

Pretoria – The late Ahmed Mohamed Kathrada was on Wednesday evening honoured in the first of the four public memorial services in Pretoria.

Kathrada, also known as Uncle Kathy, died on March 28 at the age of 87.

He was described during the service as a revolutionary and lifelong activist against racism.

"Uncle Kathy passed on at a time in our country where we've reached a crossroads. He was part of a distinguished generation including Govan Mbeki, Andrew Mlangeni and Nelson Mandela," Professor Firaz Cachalia, executive director of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation said.

He spoke on the cancellation of Kathrada's state memorial service last Saturday saying it was unprecedented.

"It was his dying wish that the president should not attend his funeral. It was his dying wish," said Cachalia to loud applause in the audience.

He said Kathrada would be remembered for eternity for his selflessness and integrity.

He also called former finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his former deputy Mcebisi Jonas were impeachable.

Cachalia said Gordhan was subjected to harassment since taking on his former position by a family that "should not be in this country".

During his funeral last Wednesday various ministers stood in solidarity with Kathrada's position and his family in their unwavering support of former finance minister Pravin Gordhan who was fired by President Jacob Zuma in his cabinet reshuffle last Thursday.

Last year, after Zuma fired former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene and replaced him with a relatively unknown Des van Rooyen, Kathrada addressed a letter to Zuma asking him to step down.

It was revealed by Former President Kgalema Motlanthe during Kathrada's funeral last week that the letter went unanswered by Zuma.

The funeral, in addition to honouring Kathrada's iconic legacy, served as a meeting place to renew the call for Zuma to step down.

Pretoria News