About this site

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Kathrada, Ahmed

1929 -

Kathrada was born in the Western Transvaal and educated in Johannesburg and at the University of the Witwatersrand. At the age of 17 he was employed on a full-time basis by the Transvaal Passive Resistance Council.

He was detained for the first time in 1946 for civil disobedience. Thereafter he became Chairman of the Transvaal Indian Youth Congress and helped to organise the Defiance Campaign in 1952. He was one of the 156 trialists in the 1956 Treason Trial. In 1962 he went underground as a leader of MK. He was arrested at Rivonia and sentenced to life imprisonment. He was released in 1989.

In 1990 he served on the interim leadership committees of the ANC and the SACP and was elected to the ANC National Executive Council in 1991. He became an MP in 1994 and was appointed Parliamentary Councillor in the Office of the President.

He is Chairperson of the Robben Island Museum Council.

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.