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Police conduct sweep of cemetry ahead of Kathrada funeral

The late struggle stalwart will receive an official special funeral, which will be led by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

FILE: Ahmed Kathrada at Fatima Meer's memorial service in Durban. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Police are conducting a sweep of the Westpark Cemetery ahead of the arrival of dozens of family, friends and dignitaries for the burial of the late struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada.

Kathrada died on Tuesday at the age of 87.

The late struggle stalwart will receive an official special funeral, which will be led by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

LISTEN: Ahmed Kathrada: A gentle freedom warrior

President Jacob Zuma says he will not be attending Ahmed Kathrada’s memorial service and funeral in compliance with the wishes of the stalwart’s family.

Ramaphosa, however, is expected to read Kathrada's eulogy.

Before proceedings get underway, a political tribute will be delivered by former President Kgalema Motlanthe, who is also a part of the foundation.

Kathrada will be buried according to Muslim rites.

GALLERY: Ahmed Kathrada: A life in pictures

KATHRADA ON ZUMA

In April last year Kathrada penned a letter asking Zuma to step down following the Constitutional Court ruling over the Nkandla scandal.

The Constitutional Court found that the president failed to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law of the land, and ordered him to pay back the money used on non-security features at his Nkandla home in KwaZulu-Natal.

Kathrada wrote: "The unanimous ruling of the Constitutional Court on the Nkandla matter has placed me in an introspective mode and I had to ask myself some very serious and difficult questions. Now that the court has found that the President failed to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law, how should I relate to my President?"

Click here to read the full letter.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)