Sophia Williams-De Bruyn shared fond memories of Ahmed Kathrada when she addressed mourners during his funeral at Westpark Cemetery in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

De Bruyn, the last surviving leader of the historic 1956 Women’s March to the Union Buildings, recalled meeting Kathrada in the 1950s at a fundraising party.

“He couldn’t dance. He had two left feet, but he loved to dance,” she said, to laughter from the audience.

Today the struggle stalwart is being laid to rest after weeks in hospital, where he experienced complications from brain surgery.
He died aged 87 on Tuesday, prompting heartfelt tributes from South African leaders across the spectrum who remembered his humility and dedication to justice.

De Bruyn said Kathrada had been “instrumental” in organising the Women’s March. He had spoken to male members of the South African Indian Congress, reassuring them that they should not be afraid if their wives marched.

Listen to De Bruyn’s full tribute below.