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Rivonia Trialist: Ahmed Kathrada Illness 'Serious'

Anti-apartheid struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada 's health has worsened in the last 24 hours, his foundation said today. The Ahmed Kath...

Anti-apartheid struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada's health has worsened in the last 24 hours, his foundation said today.

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation’s Director Neeshan Balton said that despite good medical care, his condition is not improving.

Kathrada is one of just three of the 10 Rivonia Trialists who are still alive today. The other two surviving are Andrew Mlangeni and Denis Goldberg. Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Govan Mbeki are among the accused now deceased.
Ahmed Kathrada

The marathon trial took place from 1963 to 1964. Among the charges Kathrada faced was sabotage and attempting to overthrow the government by violent means. Kathrada and eight other of the accused were sentenced to life imprisonment. He spent 18 years behind bars.

The foundation’s Balton told News24 the 87-year-old Kathrada experienced several complications following his surgery related to blood clotting on the brain earlier this month, making his condition serious.

“Kathrada has contracted pneumonia, which has affected both his lungs ... He is currently comfortable,” said Balton.

Kathrada (born 21 August 1929, sometimes known by the nickname "Kathy") is a South African politician and former political prisoner and anti-apartheid activist.

Kathrada's involvement in the anti-apartheid activities of the African National Congress (ANC) led him to his long-term imprisonment following the Rivonia Trial, in which he was held at Robben Island and Pollsmoor Prison. 

Following his release in 1990, he was elected to serve as a member of parliament, representing the ANC. He has authored a book, No Bread for Mandela- Memoirs of Ahmed Kathrada, Prisoner No. 468/64.

Kathrada was born in the small country town of Schweizer-Reneke in the Western Transvaal, the fourth of six children in a Sunni Bohra Gujarati-family of South African Indian-Muslim immigrant parents from Surat. - Daily Sun

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