Social change, real economic transformation and hope. These are the concepts which former finance minister Pravin Gordhan attributed to the late Ahmed Kathrada at a public memorial service held in Cape Town today.
Speaking from an overflowing St. George's cathedral, Gordhan spoke frankly and diplomatically about the current political climate framing it as an opportunity for all South Africans to live the words and actions of beloved 'uncle Kathy'.
"Social justice needs to be part of the genetic make-up of every South African", expressed Gordhan. "And radical economic transformation, to serve the many and not the few, must be the responsibility of every person here and in this country".
Gordhan advised crowds to not limit themselves to armchair activism behind television and computer screens.
He and other speakers urged the South Africans to be consistent in their enthusiasm for democracy and show support for all the other social issues grabbing maliciously at "a South African way of life".
The memorial was organised by a plethora of civic society organisations and served as a platform for both remembrance and response to the current issues facing the government.
Student activist and Fees Must Fall leader, Fasiha Hassan expressed that, "The young people are fed up". Emphasising that Kathrada had found himself forced to display courage in the fight against his own people of the ANC.
A parallel which some speakers drew between the stalwart and the former minister.
Yet, Gordhan reminded the crowd that he, like Kathrada, remained proudly an ANC cadre and hopeful in his party's future.
He concluded his speech by rallying the crowds with hope, the last of Kathradas lessons.
"We must remain hopeful that the ANC of Mandela, Sisulu and Kathrada will emerge from the struggle of today".