The City of Cape Town will today bestow the Freedom of the City on Ahmed Kathrada at a ceremony at the City Hall.

The 86-year-old Apartheid struggle icon joins the ranks of Former President Nelson Mandela, US President Barack Obama and Archibishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, who have also received the award.

ahmed kathrada

Kathrada was one of the eight co-accused in the Rivonia Trial in 1964, alongside Madiba, and sentenced to hard labour on the infamous Robben Island. He spent 18 years of his 26-year sentence on the island before being released from Pollsmoor Prison in 1989. A longtime friend of Mandela, Kathrada was appointed as Parliamentary Counsellor in 1994.

Cape Town’s Executive Mayor, Patricia de Lille, told News24 earlier that the Freedom of the City is the highest honour the City Council can award an individual. De Lille says it is a token of appreciation from the people of Cape Town for the heroic service Kathrada has given to South Africa throughout his life.

ahmed kathrada

Photography courtesy Ahmed Kathrada Foundation

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