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Good Morning, Sanbonani, Assalaam Aleikom, Namaste, Vanekum, Goeie More

Cde Programme Director, Distinguished Guests, Comrades and Friends, Ladies and Gentleman

We are gathered here today to pay our last respects to Comrade Ahmed Kathrada whose death after a short illness following surgery for the removal of blood clots around his brain, has left one and all shocked and shattered; pained and devastated.

My family and I join millions of people here and abroad in extending our heart-felt condolences to you Barbara, and to all members of the Kathrada family on the passing on of our beloved Kathy – an icon who has deservedly taken his rightful place alongside the giants of our democratic revolution.

DATE: 14 MARCH 2017

Herewith are the various organisations supporting Anti-Racism Week 2017, hosted by the Anti-Racism Network South Africa (ARNSA): 

Department of Justice and Constitutional Development

Department of Arts and Culture

Department of Basic Education

South African Local Government Association (SALGA)

National Council of Persons with Disabilities

Albinism Society of South Africa

European Union Ambassador

South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC)

South African Rugby Union

Cricket South Africa

Department of Sport and Movement Studies at the University of Johannesburg

Banking Association South Africa

Foundation for Human Rights

Muslim Judicial Council

Jamiatul Ulama South Africa

DATE: 14 MARCH 2017

The concept of ‘becoming’ will feature during Anti-Racism Week (March 14-21), with key ‘be’ themes per day. The type of events that you/ your organisations could host can be linked to the themes.

14 March, Tuesday – Be Aware - This day is about making people aware about what racism is, the different ways it manifests itself and just how pervasive it is. It is about being aware of how racism affects people in their interpersonal relationships, in their social standing, in the workplace, in faith-based organisations, at school or on the sports field, in the news, and on social media. The day is about being aware of how racism affects us materially and on a structural level.

DATE: 14 MARCH 2017

What is Anti-Racism Week?

 

Anti-Racism Week is being held from March 14-21. It culminates on Human Rights Day in South Africa and the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The week is an annual campaign, organised by the Anti-Racism Network South Africa (ARNSA) in a bid to tackle racism and create awareness nationally.

Last year, ARNSA pioneered the initiative, drawing in support from schools, religious institutes, sports organisations, government departments, businesses, civil society organisations, media houses and individuals across the country. This year, it hopes to increase the impact of the campaign, which calls on all South Africans to #TakeOnRacism .

DATE: 12 FEB 2017

Compiled by Tonya Khoury - ROi Africa 

Many racist and prejudice related stories swamped the ROi Africa charts over the year. Here are some examples:  

·         Velaphi Khumalo

·         Chris Hart

·         Curro Schools

·         Pretoria Girls High

·         Cell C’s Jose Dos Santos

·         Pastor Steven Anderson, here SA stood in solidarity and said #NotInOurBackYard

·         Mcebo Dlamini

·         Matthew Theunissen

·         Black Face - Stellies

·         Vicky Momberg

·         Andre Slade

·         Mabel Jansen

·         Say No to Xenophobia

The top ten stories in South African media (both news and social)

By Delani Majola 

A selfless fighter who drew wisdom and values of leadership from fellow comrades, peers and his oppressors, Nelson Mandela may be gone, but the Madiba magic continues to live on especially within the youth.

This was the view of Busisiwe Nkosi, Youth Programmes Coordinator at the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation (AKF) who was speaking at the Foundation’s leadership camp.

On Monday, December 5, a group of young people embarked on a four day camp as part of the AKF Youth Leadership Programme 2016. Their destination was Camp Nelu, an acronym for Nature Education Leads to Education.

By Luke Spiropoulos

 

The South African Reconciliation Barometer (SARB), run by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR), is a very important tool for people who are beginning to ask questions about social cohesion and, more especially in this case, race relations in South Africa.

 

The first of a set of released data from this survey produces some interesting insights into the nature of South Africans’ perceptions of race relations – as opposed to a great deal of data on people’s actual experiences of desegregation and racism. It is for this reason, and because of the small sample size (given the many subcategories of race, gender and age needed for analysis) – 2 219, that this survey should largely form a starting point for many other enquiries into the constituent elements of the survey.

 

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation has noted the recent comments made by Velaphi Khumalo. 

 

As with the Penny Sparrow incident, we strongly condemn Khumalo's racist statements. We also condemn his call to 'act as Hitler did to the Jews' and 'cleanse' South Africa of white people. It is outrageous that Khumalo can invoke the horrors of the Holocaust, adding that it should be repeated - implying that white South Africans must be killed in a similar manner. This is clearly a case of hate speech.  

 

Although the comments were posted on Khumalo's Facebook page, he is an employee of the Gauteng sports, arts, culture and recreation department. 

 

By Kabelo Kemp

 

Willem Boshoff, a sculptor by profession, presented a true work of art in the form of a granite sculpture to struggle veteran Ahmed Kathrada on May 6, 2016.

 

The 100kg slab of granite was handed to the anti-apartheid stalwart at the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation’s office in Lenasia. Boshoff was accompanied by his colleagues Patricia Flentge and John Mthimkhulu.

 

Marked with prison tally etchings, the granite piece records the exact number of days (9269) that Kathrada spent imprisoned on Robben Island and Pollsmoor Prison from 1964 to 1989.

 

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This year, the project is set to have key drop off points  in areas in Lenasia, Lenasia South, Roshnee, Soweto and Sandton where communities willing to give donations could show their support.

“The Operation Winter Warm campaign is run by the youth from planning all the way to execution. We hope that they will develop a selfless approach towards the spirit and because activists within in their own communities”, said Youth Programmes Coordinator Busisiwe Nkosi.

 

Members of the community are welcome to make donations at these venues:

speech

By Zinzile Mavuso

 

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation was recently invited to the unveiling of the refurbished school library and resource centre at the Lenasia Model Primary School.

 

Struggle stalwarts and former Robben Islanders Ahmed Kathrada and Laloo Chiba were among the guests, together with director of the Foundation, Neeshan Balton.

 

The opening of the library formed part of the various Mandela Day initiatives underway in the community and was sponsored by the Imperial and Ukhamba Community Development Trust which assists schools in ‘providing learners with a well-balanced education that empowers them’.

 

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation welcomes new members to its Board of Trustees.
The reconstituted Board met for the first time on February 28 at Museum Africa.

Below - seated from left: Kgalema Motlanthe, Sophia Williams-de Bruyn, Ahmed Kathrada, Laloo 'Isu' Chiba, Mandla Nkomfe (Vice Chair) and Prof. Achille Mbembe. Standing from left: Neeshan Balton (Executive Director), Edward Kieswetter, Zarina Motala, Prema Naidoo, Ismail Vadi, Derek Hanekom (Chairperson), Barbara Hogan, David  Makhura, Prof. Firoz Cachalia, Prof. David Everett and Rashid Seedat.

Board members not pictured: Razia Saleh, Sahm Venter, Max Sisulu, Yunus Chamda and Ignatius Jacobs

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By Delani Majola

When one thinks of orchestral music, the likes of Beethoven, Gershwin and Vereshack come to mind. That is, until you encounter the rhythmic elements of the MIAGI Youth Orchestra’s New Skool performances, born on the eclectic streets of South Africa.

The multicultural MIAGI group is no stranger to delivering large scale productions, and its New Skool Orchestra is currently preparing for a ‘Deepening Non-racialism’ concert to take place on March 4 to honour struggle stalwart and lifelong activist, Ahmed Kathrada.

The concert is being held in conjunction with the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation at the Wits Great Hall, starting at 8pm. A share of the proceeds of the event from the Foundation’s side will go towards to the Wits SRC’s One Million – One Month campaign, which caters for students unable to pay university fees.

By Delani Majola

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation welcomed a new group of 43 dynamic young people into its 2015 Youth Leadership Programme.

The launch of the 3rd annual leadership course was held at Museum Africa on February 21.

Struggle veteran and activist, Ahmed Kathrada, attended the launch alongside the Foundation’s Executive Director, Neeshan Balton, and City of Johannesburg’s MMC for Community Development, Chris Vondo, who gave the keynote addresses.

Vondo cited examples from the likes of Kathrada, late former President Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and Frantz Fanon.

Oom Kathy was once a young person, late president Nelson Mandela was once a young person, they have defined their mission. Today it is up to you to define your mission. Defend the gains of the democracy,” said Vondo.

The 10th anniversary of Yasser Arafat’s death was in November 2014 commemorated in South Africa by the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation and the Palestinian Embassy. 

The exhibition of 86 rare photos of the Palestinian leader’s life was a fitting tribute to the man “who understood the power of images and symbols”.

But, who is Yasser Arafat? Does he belong to a generation of leaders whose “school of thought” is long outdated, or does he still wield significant influence posthumously?

Zaakirah Vadi spoke to Palestinian diplomat, Majed Bamya, about Arafat the revolutionary, the statesman and the martyr.

Palestinian poet, Mahmoud Darwish, penned a poem entitled A State of Siege in Ramallah in 2002 – round about the same time that Israel had surrounded Arafat’s presidential headquarters.

Darwish writes:

By Delani Majola

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation (AKF) recently visited the mining town of Kimberly as key participants in the 2014 National Youth Camp, hosted and organized by the Department of Social Development.

A group of 25 young people from the AKF Youth Leadership Programme (AKFYLP) made their way to the diamond mining town to engage with at least 1000 youth from around the country. Their message was a clear - no tolerance to racism in democratic South Africa!

The event coincided with the first anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s passing, and the AKFYLP dedicated their contribution to the former statesman’s legacy.

The group of 1000 young people was broken down into smaller circles, which enabled for better discussions, as the AKFYLP team facilitated their non-racialism course.

By Ahmed Kathrada

As a leader, Nelson Mandela had the ability of bringing out the best in people - of harnessing a person's strength. In death, he is no different.

On December 5, 2013, George Bizos and I were invited to speak at the iKwezi Institute’s Mandela Colloquium in Sandton.

For me, the experience was a difficult one.

Little did the crowd know that our address was probably the last public event held in Madiba’s honour, during his lifetime.

I had already received a message that my elder brother and long-time comrade would not make the night.

During the programme interval, I kept glancing at my phone, awaiting the final, traumatic message that I knew, would inevitably come.

By Neeshan Balton

On Thursday (December 11), a group of us gathered in commemoration at the gravesite of Yusuf Akhalwaya who, together with Prakash Napier, was killed in bomb blast, 25 years ago. They were members of the ANC’s military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK).

Among those present, were Laloo ‘Isu’ Chiba and Shirish Nanabhai.  Both were amongst the first members of MK and had spent 10 and 18 years on Robben Island respectively. This gathering therefore, brought together the first and last members of MK, who also happened to be of Indian descent. Chiba estimated that Indians constituted about 40% of MK members imprisoned between 1963 and 1964. 

MK, as most people will know, was launched on December 16, 1961, with Nelson Mandela as its Commander in Chief.

Mahaylia David (5) and Shilaya Sukhu (6) took time of their schedules to pay former Robben Island prisoner, Ahmed Kathrada (85), a visit. The two heard about Kathrada’s life story on separate occasions, but felt that it was important to hear it first hand from the veteran himself. Delani Majola recounts their meeting...

‘Perched’ on his favorite living room seat one Saturday morning, anti-apartheid stalwart, Ahmed Kathrada, is enthusiastically engaging with two families at his Johannesburg home.

The group, equally eager, was brought together after Mahaylia David and Shiyala Sukhu wrote to the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, requesting a meeting with the veteran

Mahaylia first learnt about Kathrada after listening to his heart wrenching speech at Nelson Mandela’s funeral and through watching the film, Mandela: Long walk To Freedom.

By Delani Majola

President of the Republic of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, has honoured anti-apartheid prisoner, Ahmed Kathrada for “good service to the nation”.

A former politician and political prisoner, Ahmed Kathrada served as member of the Advisory Council on National Orders since its overhaul in 1998. His term ended in October 2014.

The National Orders are presented yearly to South African citizens and foreign nationals who have made notable contributions to the country.

In a statement by the Presidential Office, Kathrada was thanked for his ‘commendable and valuable contribution’ in identifying and promoting the most admiral individuals of our democracy.

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation’s researcher, Luke Spiropoulos, analyses two reports by the Gauteng City Region Observatory (GCRO) and the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR). The reports, amongst other aspects, detail statistics related to inter-racial mistrust. While a bleak picture is painted, Spiropoulos argues that there may be hope yet.

 

In the past several months, two survey reports have been released, which have major implications for the ideal of the non-racial society, which the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation is committed to building.

Anti-apartheid veteran Laloo ‘Isu’ Chiba (83) took a bold stand today by picketing against the sale of Israeli products outside a Woolworths store at Trade Route Mall, Lenasia. The stalwart - who spent 18 years in prison on Robben Island and is now a trustee of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation - has urged shoppers to heed the call by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) South Africa campaign.

BDS recently launched the campaign against Woolworths, which imports several of its products from Israeli settlements.

Chiba was clear that the decision by Woolworths to buy consumer goods from Israel is an endorsement of Israel’s unacceptable practices in Palestine. He said that it can be compared to purchasing South African products during the apartheid era.

DATE: 14 MARCH 2017

Herewith are the various organisations supporting Anti-Racism Week 2017, hosted by the Anti-Racism Network South Africa (ARNSA): 

Department of Justice and Constitutional Development

Department of Arts and Culture

Department of Basic Education

South African Local Government Association (SALGA)

National Council of Persons with Disabilities

Albinism Society of South Africa

European Union Ambassador

South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC)

South African Rugby Union

Cricket South Africa

Department of Sport and Movement Studies at the University of Johannesburg

Banking Association South Africa

Foundation for Human Rights

Muslim Judicial Council

Jamiatul Ulama South Africa

DATE: 14 MARCH 2017

The concept of ‘becoming’ will feature during Anti-Racism Week (March 14-21), with key ‘be’ themes per day. The type of events that you/ your organisations could host can be linked to the themes.

14 March, Tuesday – Be Aware - This day is about making people aware about what racism is, the different ways it manifests itself and just how pervasive it is. It is about being aware of how racism affects people in their interpersonal relationships, in their social standing, in the workplace, in faith-based organisations, at school or on the sports field, in the news, and on social media. The day is about being aware of how racism affects us materially and on a structural level.

Madala, as you light-heartedly started calling me some years ago, it both grieves me and inspires me to write this to you now, with the hour of your death still a fresh wound in our peoples’ hearts.   We have known each other for 67 years, and I never imagined I’d be witness to the unavoidable and traumatic reality of your passing. Your abundant reserves of love, simplicity, honesty, service, humility, care, courage, foresight, patience, tolerance, equality and justice continually served as a source of enormous strength to me and so many millions of people around the world.