Mixed reactions by the homeless on Kathrada’s passing

North Eastern Tribune visited a number of homeless spots including Patterson Park adjacent to the Norwood Police Station, which many community members call home.

While some refused to talk to the newspaper, others said they do know him but refused to have their photographs taken and published.

Michael Ndaba, who lives in Yeoville, was willing to share his views but said Kathrada’s death means nothing to the homeless people.

Read: Norwood CPF chairperson pays tribute to Ahmed Kathrada

Ndaba, who was pulling his cart used to collect waste material and sell it to generate an income, said the former treason trialist has done nothing for him or those who still face the struggle to make a decent living and have to sleep on empty stomachs.

“Kathrada and those who are deemed to have brought about a change in South Africa were the only people who enjoyed the wealth of this country and left us with nothing but more struggle. His death means nothing to us because even when they came back only them and their cronies enjoyed the rewards after the apartheid era,” said Ndaba.

Mpendulo Mbolani.

“We are not in mourning as the homeless community and his death means nothing at all.”

Mpendulo Mbelani, the famous flashy cart owner, simply added, “I did not know this person but the death of a person deserves to be mourned. Not only because he was deemed a hero by some in our communities but as South Africans and Africans we are taught that you cannot talk bad about the dead.

Read: VIDEO: Funeral details of the late Ahmed Kathrada

“I’m sure many are hurt by his passing and we share in their loss and pain.”

Ahmed Kathrada was one of the Rivonia Trialists who spent years on Robben Island with the likes of Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Andrew Mlangeni during the apartheid years in South Africa.

He passed away in the early hours of 28 March at the Donald Gordon Medical Centre.

Edited by Beryl Knipe

Share your own views about Ahmed Kathrada’s passing on the North Eastern Tribune Facebook page and what Ahmed Kathrada means to you.

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