Former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan was the keynote speaker at the memorial service held for struggle icon Ahmed Kathrada at St George’s Cathedral this afternoon, April 6. Mr Gordhan and former tourism minister Derek Hanekom arrived at the church to great applause. Mr Gordhan joked that he and Mr Hanekom were getting used to being called comrade again and not minister after the two were axed by President Jacob Zuma a week ago. The service included tributes from Cape Town’s faith leaders and former Robben Island political prisoner Eddie Daniels who spoke about how Kathrada had shared stationery with fellow prisoners who were studying, at great risk to himself, and also how they had managed to have newspapers smuggled onto the island.
Other speakers included #FeesMustFall leader Fasiha Hassan who spoke about Kathrada’s support for the movement and Deputy Minister of Public Works and South African Community Party (SACP) member Jeremy Cronin who called for the Gupta family’s citizenship to be revoked. Mr Gordhan warned about the dangers of not protecting our democracy. He said they remained hopeful the ANC of Mandela, Sisula and Oliver Tambo would emerge at the end of a very difficult period.