India has donated two million rands to a top foundation fighting racial incidents in South Africa to support its commitment to bringing about non-racialism in that country.
The Indian government donated the amount to Ahmed Kathrada Foundation (AKF), which is named after the veteran freedom fighter and long-time aide of the late Nelson Mandela. It is at the forefront of fighting racial incidents that still occur in South Africa more than two decades after apartheid and its oppression of the Black majority citizenry ended.
Announcing the donation at a fund-raising banquet here on the occasion of Heritage Day in South Africa, High Commissioner Ruchi Ghanashyam said it was a direct result of the recent visit to the country by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“During his visit, the prime minister had the great pleasure of meeting Comrade Kathrada and expressed with great wonder and admiration in his speech that evening to the Indian community that packed out the huge venue to welcome him, how Comrade Kathrada had spent so many years at Robben Island.
“The next morning, at our briefing meeting, he couldn’t stop talking about the 26 years of his imprisonment,” Ghanashyam added.
“This money will be used to establish an endowment fund,” said AKF Executive Director Nishan Balton as he thanked the Indian government for ensuring the legacy of the foundation into the future.
“This foundation has been going on for eight years and we want to ensure that it goes on well into the future.
“In order to do that, it requires an endowment to be created so that when Mr Kathrada, I and the others on the Board of the Foundation are long gone and issues of racialism still exist in the country, this foundation will still be there to respond to the issues to the best of its ability,” Balton said, adding that the endowment fund will initially be overseen by the heads of two leading auditing firms as they seek to grow it even further.
“The intention is over the next five to ten years to grow this fund to at least 50 million rand to ensure that it can continue its work. Without that it becomes very difficult to respond to the growing problems of racialism that we are experiencing,” Balton concluded.