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'Kathrada being deeply disrespected by Zuma's reshuffle'

Ahmed Kathrada's widow Barbara Hogan says if Zuma had the country's best interests at heart he would not have tampered with his Cabinet.

Barbara Hogan, widow of Ahmed Kathrada, is comforted during the anti-apartheid activist's funeral at Westpark cemetery in Johannesburg on 29 March 2017. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Ahmed Kathrada's widow Barbara Hogan says she feels Kathrada has been deeply disrespected by President Jacob Zuma's Cabinet reshuffle just a day after the struggle stalwart was laid to rest.

She decried what she calls 'dastardly deals done in dark corners' - and says if Zuma had the country's best interests at heart he would not have tampered with his Cabinet.

Zuma axed five ministers on Thursday night, among them Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

Hogan said Zuma should have taken Kathrada's letter more seriously and paid attention to speakers at the stalwart’s funeral on Wednesday.

Hogan was speaking at a joint briefing of Kathrada's Foundation and the SACP in Houghton.

“If this was a Presidency that was listening to the sentiments in this country, the funeral service of Mr Kathrada alone would have alerted them to the high emotions and feelings that are going on in this country.”

Hogan has also urged ministers who were doing good work in Cabinet not to resign, and instead to work tirelessly against corruption.

The former Cabinet minister said she could not understand why Bathabile Dlamini and Faith Muthambi remained in Zuma's Cabinet despite the growing calls to have them removed on the grounds of incompetence.

She said Zuma's shock reshuffle should be enough for South Africans to stand up and act.

Hogan added that good ANC MPs were humiliated.

“Time and time again they have been humiliated that two Cabinet ministers they have called to be cast out of Cabinet - Bathabile Dlamini and Faith Muthambi – still remain in Cabinet this day.”

Hogan has described as disrespectful government’s unilateral decision to indefinitely postpone the official memorial scheduled for Saturday.

Government released a statement on Friday afternoon, saying the memorial service for the late Uncle Kathy would not go ahead, without giving any reasons.

However, the foundation will now lead its own memorial at the City Hall in Johannesburg at 2pm on Saturday.

(Edited by Refilwe Thobega)

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