Letter: Fight for what Kathrada stood for

Last week our beloved South Africa lost another gigantic hero.

The role that Uncle Kathy, Ahmed Kathrada, played in South Africa since the early 1950s should never be left out of the history of South Africa.

When he joined the struggle at the age of 17, he knew exactly what he was involving himself in.

This ANC stalwart fought till his last day on Earth.

It saddened all of us to see the country’s sense of direction, at an expense of our heroes and heroines.

Those who fought against the apartheid system severely suffered and sacrificed a lot for this country.

As South Africans we shouldn’t mourn the death of Uncle Kathy, but we should celebrate his life.

He has played his role and his part in the struggle for emancipation.

The question is: how do we honour his wishes at a time like this?

This stalwart has made numerous attempts in trying to bring back the dignity of the ANC. We need leaders of his calibre. Now that Uncle Kathy has passed on, we have an immense role to play in developing our country. We should honour our heroes. In Xhosa, there’s a say that goes Belele nje bayathetha.

That means, our leaders might be no more, but they do speak.

South Africans need to honour this gigantic leader by protecting the country from looters.

The only thing he wanted was for all South Africans to live in harmony.

Our leaders have lost their sense of principles and morals.

Our nation should be honest at all times.

In honour of his memory and his work as a stalwart of the ANC, South Africans should at all times be able to challenge leaders who mislead the nation.

Uncle Kathy did not spend 26 years in prison so that our people could be mistreated and be taken for granted by leaders who claim to have the interests of us as citizens at heart.

Our nation needs incorruptible leaders.

And this is how we should honour the memory of Uncle Kathy.

Former president Thabo Mbeki said, “Kathy wanted the challenges that the African National Congress and the country are facing [to be corrected].”

Mbeki’s statement clearly articulates the current state of the country’s affairs and the state of the ruling party.

The role of the ruling party is to unify all South Africans.

We should remember that we are a nation faced with numerous and varied challenges, in which we all have a role to play in finding common solutions.

We can’t be a divided society, yet uncle Kathy fought against racism.

In the words of Robert Sobukwe, “There’s only one race; and that’s human race”.

To honour Ahmed Kathrada, means to correct all the wrongs in the ruling party.

There’s always room for improvement.

The leadership of the ANC needs to engage with the veterans of the movement to reach mutual consensus.

The nation can no longer ignore the current state of our country.

It’s either the ruling party takes charge of its people, or the people of South Africa will take a decisive decision come 2019.

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