The ANC has made a few strides in bringing a new era of hope and optimism since December, but the rot remains, Minister of State Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan.

Gordhan addressed family and friends of Ahmed Kathrada during the first anniversary since his passingĀ  at the Constitution Hill in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

Gordhan says, “Corruption is still happening, it isn’t gone yet. It’s time to start reporting corrupt directors of state entities and companies. We need to blacklist them and we need to bring back the slogan ‘pay back the money’. There is indeed a lot of work to do.”

The money looted in the last ten years needs to be recovered to restore the credibility of the ANC, he added.

“All our SOEs are in a form of rot, in a way or another. This is the beginning of the struggle to recover from the losses of the last 10 years. But no doubt Nasrec has introduced a new era in our country and a wave of optimism.”

Gordhan says it is important to restore the ANC to the ANC of struggle heroes like Ahmed Kathrada.

ANC veteran Reverend Frank Chikane also shared his memories of Uncle Kathy, Rev. Chikane revisited his chat with Kathrada about the state of the ANC when Kathrada wrote the letter asking then president Jacob Zuma to step down.

Chikane says Kathrada told him “You know, I never thought I would do something like this in my life.” Chikane suggests it was not easy for Kathrada to write about the party he lived for all his life, but believed it was necessary.

“The ANC needs to cleanse itself from this blot in history,” he said.

Kathrada’s widow Barbara Hogan recalled how Kathy was pained by the state of the ANC during Zuma’s presidency.

Barbara Hogan says “Kathy found it difficult to write that letter (referring to his letter asking former president Jacob Zuma to resign)”.

Having been remembered as a champion of human rights, young and old praised him for his lifelong service to non-racism.

Uncle Kathy’s involvement in the #FeesMustFall protests in 2016 has left a fond memory on students protest leader Nompendulo Mkhatshwa.

Mkhatshwa says Kathrada’s presence was a confirmation that theirs was a just cause. “He came down and engaged us.”

She says “Asinilibalanga comrade Kathy, umzabalazo uzakuqhubeka ngenxa yenu.”

Max Sisulu has called on all South Africans to continue with the fight for a non-racial and equal society. He says freedom fighters like the late Ahmed Kathrada have paved a way which needs more heroes and heroines in society to carry on.

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation launched the Ahmed Kathrada photography exhibition earlier on Tuesday to mark a year since the struggle stalwart’s death.