Leader doesn’t attend funeral

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — President Jacob Zuma said today he was not attending the funeral of a South African apartheid-era leader after Ahmed Kathrada’s family asked him to stay away.

Kathrada died Tuesday at age 87 after being admitted for surgery linked to blood clotting on the brain. He was imprisoned for years along with Nelson Mandela for opposing the former white minority government. Kathrada last year called on Zuma to step down after numerous corruption allegations. A statement from Zuma’s office said the president would respect the wishes of Kathrada’s family for him to stay away. It also said South Africa “has lost one of its valuable and most respected freedom fighters.”