Navigation
Suscribe
Menu Search Facebook Twitter
Search Close
Menu ALL SECTIONS
  • Capital Coahuila
  • Capital Hidalgo
  • Capital Jalisco
  • Capital Morelos
  • Capital Oaxaca
  • Capital Puebla
  • Capital Quintana Roo
  • Capital Querétaro
  • Capital Veracruz
  • Capital México
  • Capital Michoacán
  • Capital Mujer
  • Reporte Índigo
  • Estadio Deportes
  • The News
  • Efekto
  • Diario DF
  • Capital Edo. de Méx.
  • Green TV
  • Revista Cambio
Radio Capital
Pirata FM
Capital Máxima
Capital FM
Digital
Prensa
Radio
TV
X
Newsletter
Facebook Twitter
X Welcome! Subscribe to our newsletter and receive news, data, statistical and exclusive promotions for subscribers
World

South Africa Activist's Funeral Exposes Divide Over Future

Kathrada, who spent years in prison with Nelson Mandela for opposing the former white minority government, died Tuesday at age 87

A mourner holds a portrait of Ahmed Kathrada, at West Park Cemetery in Johannesburg, South Africa, Wednesday, March 29, 2017, photo: AP/Themba Hadebe
4 months ago

JOHANNESBURG – The funeral of one of South Africa’s leading anti-apartheid activists on Wednesday exposed the angry divide over the fate of a country he fought decades to see exist. President Jacob Zuma said he wouldn’t attend after Ahmed Kathrada’s family asked him to stay away, while funeral-goers rose in a standing ovation for Kathrada’s recent call for the scandal-ridden Zuma to step aside.

Kathrada, who spent years in prison with Nelson Mandela for opposing the former white minority government, died Tuesday at age 87. He stepped into the spotlight last year to urge Zuma to quit after numerous corruption allegations against him shook the faith of many in the ruling African National Congress, the country’s former liberation movement.

The ANC flag covered Kathrada’s coffin Wednesday, and a statement from Zuma’s office said South Africa had lost “one of its valuable and most respected freedom fighters.”

But the growing frustration over the country’s leadership burst out among the aging activists, including Mandela’s ex-wife Winnie Madikizela Mandela, 80.

They rose in a standing ovation when Kgalema Motlanthe, a former deputy president under Zuma, quoted from Kathrada’s letter urging Zuma to leave to avoid deepening the “crisis of confidence in the government.”

Friends and family members prepares to pray as they stand next to coffin carrying the body of Ahmed Kathrada, during the funeral service at West Park Cemetery in Johannesburg, South Africa, Wednesday, March 29, 2017. Photo: AP/Themba Hadebe

There was another standing ovation for Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, whose strong reputation as a bulwark against corruption has raised investor fears that Zuma will soon fire him. The rand currency has dropped, further worrying residents of a leading African economy that has stalled amid high unemployment.

Many South Africans have shown their impatience with the president, who was found last year by the country’s highest court to have violated his oath of office by refusing to pay back some of the millions of dollars in public money spent on upgrading his rural home.

The ANC under Zuma last year suffered its worst-ever election showing after comfortably leading for a generation, losing control of key municipalities including those of the commercial hub, Johannesburg, and the capital, Pretoria.

Three months later, Zuma later survived an attempt by senior party members to oust him as president.

Now the shaken ruling party looks ahead to a conference in December that will determine who will succeed Zuma as the ANC’s leader — and likely as president, as the party has never lost the general election since taking power in 1994.

The country’s next presidential elections are in 2019.

STUART GRAHAM

Comments Whatsapp Twitter Facebook Share
More From The News
World

Law Drawing Focus in Russia Probe Rarely ...

4 hours ago
Sports

Lane Kiffin Ready for Start of his First ...

4 hours ago
World

Experts: Software Theft Shows Threat of ...

4 hours ago
Mexico

Mexican Government Reuniting Smuggling V ...

4 hours ago
Most Popular

Mexico City Publishes Protocol for Crime ...

By Notimex
Mexico

Fires Force Evacuation of 12,000 in Thre ...

By The Associated Press
World

State of Mexico Produces 80 Percent of C ...

By The News
Mexico

Hurricane Hilary Forms in Pacific Off Me ...

By The Associated Press
Mexico

Muslim Cleric: Protest to Go On Despite ...

By The Associated Press
World