CAPE TOWN， March 28 (Xinhua) -- South African anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada died in the early hours of Tuesday morning at the age of 87， the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation has confirmed.
Kathrada passed away peacefully after a short period of illness and following surgery to the brain at the Donald Gordon Hospital in Johannesburg， the foundation said.
"This is great loss to the ANC (African National Congress)， the broader liberation movement and South Africa as a whole. Internationally， he was staunch in his support for the Palestinian struggle. 'Kathy' was an inspiration to millions in different parts of the world，" said Neeshan Balton， Executive Director of the foundation.
Kathrada will be buried according to Muslim religious rights， details of which will be made publicly available in due course， according to the foundation.
Born on Aug. 21， 1929， Kathrada was introduced to politics as a young boy when he joined a non-racial youth club run by the Young Communist League.
At 17， Kathrada participated in the 1946 Passive Resistance Campaign led by the South African Indian Congress. He was part of 2，000 resisters who were arrested and imprisoned for defying a law that discriminated against Indian South Africans.
Kathrada spent 26 years and three months in prison， 18 of which were on Robben Island where Nelson Mandela， who later became South Africa's first black president， was also imprisoned.
Kathrada has had an illustrious political career， having served between 1994 and 1999 as the parliamentary counsellor to then President Mandela.
Kathrada is survived by his wife， Barbara Hogan， also an ANC stalwart and veteran.
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