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Ahmed Kathrada spent decades in jail with Nelson Mandela, then spent the first years of democracy helping to shape the country's government after the fall of apartheid. The 87-year-old Kathrada died in Johannesburg on Tuesday morning.

Friends and strangers alike called Kathrada by the nickname Kathy, which was bestowed on him by his eighth-grade teacher, who was Afrikaans, a member of the white minority descended from Dutch colonists.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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