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The 10th anniversary of Yasser Arafat’s death was in November 2014 commemorated in South Africa by the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation and the Palestinian Embassy. 

The exhibition of 86 rare photos of the Palestinian leader’s life was a fitting tribute to the man “who understood the power of images and symbols”.

But, who is Yasser Arafat? Does he belong to a generation of leaders whose “school of thought” is long outdated, or does he still wield significant influence posthumously?


Statement by Ahmed Kathrada Foundation Director, Neeshan Balton, on the recent xenophobic attacks in Soweto:


The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation has noted with great concern the recent spate of attacks in Soweto on foreign owned businesses, precipitated by the alleged killing of a youth.

The attacks form a pattern similar to that which preceded the 2008 xenophobic violence that engulfed many parts of South Africa.

We consider these attacks to be xenophobic and condemn them as such. 


About The Foundation

Objectives of the Foundation

In pursuing its core objective of deepening non racialism, the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation will:

  • Promote the values, rights and principles enshrined in the Freedom Charter and the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa;
  • Collect, record, promote and display, through historical artefacts and contemporary material, Kathrada's role in South Africa's liberation struggle and its relation to the role of other individuals, groups and movements both nationally and internationally;
  • Establish a research and documentation centre that will provide selective historical and contemporary documentation and archival material on liberation history in South Africa in general and the South African Indian community in particular, and to make this available for academic and scholarly research;
  • Organise seminars, lectures, debates and discussions and undertake research on issues which promote a non-racial, non-sexist and democratic South Africa;
    Identify and support projects and programmes that will deepen non-racialism and create an equitable society;
  • Build and maintain a centre that will carry out all of the activities and programmes of the Foundation.

While Ahmed Kathrada's activities were substantially connected with the Indian Congress, in practice his activities extended well beyond the Indian community, ranging from the Young Communist League to Umkhonto we Sizwe, amongst others. The Foundation will therefore strive to include basic data and be a reference point for information on other individuals and liberation organisations."


“Beyond Kathy’s individual role then, his Foundation will promote and help sustain the ideal of a non-racial society which we fought for over so many decades.”

Nelson Mandela
August 2007

“As a prisoner of concience, Ahmed Kathrada dedicated himself to the right of people to a life of freedom and dignity”

Sonia Gandhi
August 2007