Denis Goldberg and Ahmed “Kathy” Kathrada were both sentenced to life imprisonment alongside Nelson Mandela because of their activities during the apartheid in South Africa.
The two men received the Freedom of the City of London with their defence team at the Guildhall in recognition of the their fight for freedom and racial equality.
According to Lord Mayor Jeffrey Mountevans, the accolade was a “tribute to the noble and fearless fortitude” of the two men.
He continued: “Twenty years ago, the late Nelson Mandela accepted the Honorary Freedom of the City of London – the highest accolade that we can bestow – and we are so pleased to honour his fellow fighters, essentially, world leaders for equality and humanity, to recognise their battle against the evils of apartheid.”
— City of London (@cityoflondon) January 27, 2016
Goldberg, a former member of the ANC military wing, told the audience at a Q&A session that South Africa has come a “tremendously long way in undoing what the Apartheid government did” however, “there is still a long way to go”.
The 82-year-old was arrested in 1964 when police discovered a plot for an uprising, was convicted of armed resistance and sentenced to four life terms in prison.
He told the audience that at the time of his arrest he was certain he was going to be hanged.
Kathrada joined Mandela’s fight against the apartheid laws in 1952. He was placed under house arrest in 1962 and spent a total of 26 years in prisons (18 of which he spent on Robben Island).
The 86-year-old told the audience how he and Goldberg organized protests for the ANC even after the groups had been shut down.
“Even when we were banned we knew we had to carry on our work in some form or other,” he told the audience.