South Africa’s anti-apartheid veteran Ahmed Kathrada dies

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ahmed kathrada and nelson mandela

Veteran South African anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada has died aged 87, his foundation says.

It says Mr Kathrada passed away peacefully in a Johannesburg hospital “after a short period of illness, following surgery to the brain”.

Along with Nelson Mandela, Mr Kathrada was among eight African National Congress activists sentenced to life imprisonment in 1964.

They were convicted of trying to topple the white minority government.

Apartheid was a legalized system of discrimination against non-white people introduced in South Africa in 1948.

But laws that discriminated against non-whites existed prior to that

Born into a family of Indian origin in 1929, Mr Kathrada, affectionately known as Kathy, was affected by those laws.

He was not only one of Mr Mandela’s closest friends, but also a human rights activist in his own right who had a long history in the struggle against discrimination and apartheid, says the BBC’s Milton Nkosi in Johannesburg.

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