Governors are sent by Him to punish the evildoers and praise the virtuous (1 Peter 2:14).

     
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[Pages H2504-H2505]
From the Congressional Record Online through GPO




             HONORING THE LIFE OF AHMED “KATHY” KATHRADA

  (Mr. COHEN asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 
minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. COHEN. Mr. Speaker, I was awakened today to the news of a gentleman from South Africa, who was one of the great historic men I have experienced in my life, an antiapartheid activist and a blessed man, Ahmed Kathrada, known as Kathy, passed away.

Kathy was an Indian gentleman who went to Johannesburg with his family as a young man and found that, at age 8, he had to move there because there were no Indian schools in South Africa. He became, at a very early age, an activist for social reform and against apartheid, first for Indian rights and then against apartheid and for South African rights.

He was arrested, along with Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Mbeki, Goldberg, and other leaders of the ANC, tried in the famous Rivonia trial in 1963, and convicted as they all were. He spent 18 years in prison on Robben Island, with Nelson Mandela and others, and 8 additional years in prison. But when released from prison, he didn't see bitterness, he saw only peace and a period of commitment to resolving race relations in South Africa.

He befriended the people who had been his guards and who had subjected him to minority rights. He was elected to the African National Congress party as a delegate to parliament and served as one of Nelson Mandela's aides. He received four honorary degrees in his life, one from the University of Kentucky, one from Michigan State, and one from the University of Missouri. He moved back to Robben Island, lived there, and gave tours of the museum.

On my second trip to South Africa, where I met him on a second occasion, he led our group on our tour. It was remarkable to see the prison guards hand [[Page H2505]] the key to the prison to the former prisoner.

Kathy was a great human being and a humanitarian individual who served the Indian people, the South African nation, and humanity in a superb fashion. His was a life well-lived. I was fortunate to have met him, and I am sorry for his loss. ____________________



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