NPR

Anti-Apartheid Activist Ahmed Kathrada Dies At 87

South African freedom fighter Ahmed "Kathy" Kathrada spent decades in jail with Nelson Mandela. His best friend later in life was one of his prison guards.
Anti-apartheid activist Ahmed "Kathy" Kathrada talks during a tribute to his close friend and former South African President Nelson Mandela at Gandhi Hall on Dec. 8, 2013, in Johannesburg. Kathrada died on Tuesday at 87. Source: Marco Longari

Ahmed Kathrada spent decades in jail with Nelson Mandela, then spent the first years of democracy helping to shape the country's government after the fall of apartheid. Kathrada, 87, died in Johannesburg on Tuesday morning.

According to a statement posted by the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, he "passed away peacefully after a short period of illness, following surgery to the brain

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