Indian-origin anti-apartheid hero Kathrada misses Mandela

Johannesburg, May 7 (IANS) Anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada Wednesday said he missed his long time friend Nelson Mandela or Madiba as he voted in the country’s general elections.

“We miss him, not only today, but all the time. But, he was a human being and the time comes when human beings are no longer with us,” SA News quoted Indian-origin Kathrada as saying, while he voted at the University of Witswatersrand campus here Wednesday morning.
Kathrada was accompanied by South Africa’s Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile.
“The policy that he (Mandela) was wedded to is firmly in place. Although we miss him, we know President Zuma and his fellow executive members are carrying out the policy that is laid down by the ANC, the same policy that Madiba and (former) president Mbeki carried out,” Kathrada said.
Kathrada was surrounded by young voters at the polling station that delayed him casting his vote.
A smiling Kathrada was patient with the youngsters as they posed for pictures with him. He said it was important for young people to vote.
“They must exercise their vote. Many people sacrificed their lives to be able to vote and particularly we appeal to the young people because it is their future,” he stated.
Ahmed Kathrada, alongwith Nelson Mandela, was sentenced to life in prison on Robben Island and spent 26 years of his life locked up.
Following his release in 1990, he was elected to the South African parliament, representing the African National Congress.