Ahmed Kathrada

AHMED MOHAMED ‘KATHY’ KATHRADA was born on 21 August 1929 in Schweizer-Reneke. He entered politics at the age of twelve and was jailed for the first time at seventeen during the Passive Resistance Campaign, for defying a law that discriminated against Indians. In 1952, along with Nelson Mandela and eighteen others, Kathrada was sentenced to nine months in prison with hard labour, suspended for two years, for their involvement in the Defiance Campaign.

On 11 July 1963 he was arrested in a police raid on Liliesleaf Farm. This led to the Rivonia Trial for sabotage, which resulted in life sentences imposed on Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Kathrada, Govan Mbeki, Raymond Mhlaba, Denis Goldberg, Elias Motsoaledi and Andrew Mlangeni.

Kathrada was in prison for twenty-six years and three months, eighteen years of which were spent on Robben Island. A few months after his release on 15 October 1989, the African National Congress was unbanned.

Kathrada served as Mandela’s parliamentary counsellor from 1994 to 1999 and for one term as the chairperson of the Robben Island Museum Council. In 2008, the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation was established, with the aim of deepening non-racialism. This is his sixth book.

Books by Ahmed Kathrada