Ahmed Kathrada and Denis Goldberg who were served to life imprisonment alongside Nelson Mandela have been awarded the Freedom of the city of London for their dedication to anti-apartheid.
“I was on my own with other white political prisoners and our physical conditions were eventually much better but that doesn’t matter compared with the daily hatred expressed by the prison guards,” said Denis Goldberg, now 82 years old.
Both served 48 years in prison in South Africa for being accused of plotting an uprising to oust the then colonial government.
There's a lot of work that still needs to be done in South Africa but I'm hopeful.
During the ceremony, that was conducted at London’s Guildhall on Wednesday, their lawyers Lord Joel Joffe and George Bizos who defended them between 1963-1964, were also presented with the same title.
“We were intent on saving their lives and handling the trial in the way they instructed us to do so, which was to actually turn the trial into a trial of the government and the evils of apartheid, and their lives were of secondary importance,” said Lord Joel Joffe.
To South Africans, much is still needed to sensitize the population over apartheid that nearly brought down the nation during the colonial period.
“There’s a lot of work that still needs to be done in South Africa but I’m hopeful. The young people of South Africa are really hopeful about South Africa’s future and they really want to contribute to the political process so my feeling is one of great hope,” said Tukwini Mandela, grand-daughter to Nelson Mandela.