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Claims Zuma 'cancelled' Kathrada memorial untrue

The Presidency says claims President Jacob Zuma cancelled the official memorial service for the late Ahmed Kathrada are ‘unfortunate and untrue’.

President Jacob Zuma in Parliament. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG – The Presidency has denied claims President Jacob Zuma cancelled the official memorial service for the late Ahmed Kathrada.

Kathrada's foundation said on Friday that government had postponed the service without consulting them.

The Presidency's Bongani Ngqulunga says, “President Jacob Zuma declared a special official funeral for the stalwart, and directed government to organise an official memorial service to be addressed by the deputy president on behalf of government. Any impression that the president ordered the cancellation is unfortunate and not true.”

Meanwhile, senior politicians and ordinary South Africans have joined Ahmed Kathrada's family at a memorial service organised by the South African Communist Party and the Nelson Mandela and Ahmed Kathrada foundations on Saturday afternoon.

Sacked Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, his former deputy Mcebisi Jonas and former tourism Minister Derek Hanekom are among thosw who gathered at the Johannesburg City Hall.

Kathrada died on Tuesday at the age of 87 and he was laid to rest at the Westpark cemetery in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

GALLERY: Funeral of struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)