Former president Kgalema Motlanthe has used Ahmed Kathrada's funeral to quote the late stalwart’s letter in which he asked President Jacob Zuma to resign.

Motlanthe received a standing ovation and loud cheers from many in the crowd as he read out parts of the letter saying: "Comrade Kathy continues bluntly if not arrogantly, 'In the face of such persistently widespread criticism, condemnation and demand, is it asking too much to express the hope that you will choose the correct way that is gaining momentum, to consider stepping down?'"

Zuma himself is not at the funeral. The Presidency released a statement this morning indicating that he would not attend as per the wishes of the Kathrada family.

The family of Ahmed Kathrada also took to the stage, saying he played a huge role in their lives and instilled important values in the younger generation.

An emotional Nazir Kathrada paid tribute to his uncle at the Westpark Cemetery on Wednesday morning.