Nelson Mandela, the champion of freedom and equality, passed away yesterday. We are indeed saddened by the news of his passing but although he died as any other human being, his legacy will live on.
Mr. Ahmad M. Khatrada, one of Mandela’s closest friends and confidants, served side by side with Mandela and was imprisoned for 26 years because of his fight against apartheid in South Africa. We at the Zakat Foundation of America were honored to have Mr. Kathrada at our tenth annual dinner.
Mr. Khatrada told us that in prison, white prisoners received a full loaf of bread; Indian prisoners received half and black prisoners only a quarter. Mr. Khatrada, stated, “Nelson Mandela was our leader, I would give him a portion of my bread. The white prison warden warned me against this type of behavior. Nonetheless, I continued to share my rations with Mandela. One particular occasion, the warden angrily exclaimed ‘No bread for Nelson Mandela!’”
Despite the conditions of the prison, Mr. Mandela would not compromise his integrity. He was prepared to die for the freedom, justice, and equality of his people. His legacy will live on and we will never forget Nelson Mandela.