Johannesburg: Indian-origin South African freedom fighter Ahmed Kathrada has been awarded the Freedom of the City of Cape Town, becoming only the sixth such recipient in the country’s oldest city.
Kathrada was a close confidante of South Africa’s first black president and global anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela. Kathrada, 86, said in a lighter vein that he was awarded as a celebrated citizen because “all he had done was serve 26 years as a political prisoner alongside Mandela and others on Robben Island, which falls under the jurisdiction of the City, without paying any taxes”.
The other recipients of the honour include Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and US President Barack Obama and his wife Mi-chelle.
Kathrada said he was accepting the honour not for himself, but on behalf of the many other South African citizens who had “sacrificed life and limb to bring about a non-racial, non-sexist and democratic society”.
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