Members of the public joined in at a prayer vigil held for Dr. Ahmed Kathrada at Liliesleaf Farm in Rivonia yesterday.
According to Kathrada Foundation CEO, Neeshan Balton who addressed the gathering Uncle Kathy’s condition is said to have improved in the past 48 hours.
“He’s no longer in a sedated state. The seizures from the operations have stopped and his speech has improved, although it will take time.”
Balton said while Kathrada’s health was unpredictable, he had made significant progress on the road to recovery. Last week #AhmedKathrada trended on social media as the public shared their messages of support for the veteran from South Africans to foreigners.
Balton said Kathrada, who is one of three surviving Rivonia trialists, still has a significant contribution to make to South Africans.
“His desire towards the end of last year was to reach beyond the ANC. He wanted us to organise a trip to Robben Island with DA leader Mmusi Maimane and EFF leader Julius Malema (to engage them as young leaders and not about their respective parties),” he said.
“We are confident that he will recover and that he will tell the mayor (Herman Mashaba) that he is a free man of the city and to take his water bill to him,” he joked.
Balton also condemned the fake news about Kathrada’s death that circulated on social media recently, saying these were malicious and callous.
“The family will give a statement if his condition deteriorates,” and added that the Foundation would continue giving updates on its social media pages.
Fellow stalwarts Sophie De Bruyn, Kathrada’s friend Laloo Chiba, human rights advocate George Bizos all shared their support for Kathrada at the gathering.
The Foundation’s chairman Derek Hanekom said the day was just to encourage Kathrada, also referred to as ‘Kathy’ to get better soon as he has been an inspiration to all, while De Bruyn said their presence was to reassure Kathrada of their love and prayers.
“You’re a fighter. You’ve always been a fighter. We ask that you don’t give up. We are with you,” she said.