Indian South Africans

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1947-Joint Declaration of Cooperation

 

1947

"Joint Declaration of Cooperation" Signed by Dr A.B. Xuma, President of the African National Congress, Dr G.M. Naicker, President of the Natal Indian Congress and Dr Y.M. Dadoo, President of the Transvaal Indian Congress ("Three Doctors' Pact"), 9 March 1947

This Joint Meeting between the representatives of the African National Congress and the Natal and Transvaal Indian Congresses, having fully realised the urgency of cooperation between the non-European peoples and other democratic forces for the attainment of basic human rights and full citizenship for all sections of the South African people, has resolved that a Joint Declaration of Cooperation is imperative for the working out of a practical basis of cooperation between the national organisations of the non-European peoples.

This Joint Meeting declares its sincerest conviction that to his the future progress, goodwill, good race relations, and for the building of a united, greater and free South Africa, full franchise rights must be extended to all sections of the South African people, and to his end this Joint Meeting pledges the fullest cooperation between the African and Indian peoples and appeals to all democratic and freedom loving citizens of South Africa to support fully and cooperate in this struggle for:

1. Full franchise.

2. Equal economic and industrial rights and opportunities and the recognition of African trade unions under the Industrial Conciliation Act.

3. The removal of all land restrictions against non-European and the provision of adequate housing facilities for all non-Europeans.

4. The extension of free and compulsory education to non-European

5. Guaranteeing freedom of movement and the abolition of Pass Laws against the African people and the provincial barriers against Indians.

6. And the removal of all discriminatory and oppressive legislation from the Union's statute book.

This Joint Meeting is therefore of the opinion that for the attainment of these objects it is urgently necessary that a vigorous campaign be immediately launched and that every effort be made to compel the Union government to implement the United Nations decisions and to treat the non-European peoples in South Africa in conformity with the principles of the United Nations Charter.

This Joint Meeting further resolves to meet from time to time 'implement this Declaration and to take active steps in proceeding with the campaign.

ANC, TIC and NIC call for Full Franchise

Johannesburg, Sunday: At a joint meeting of the representatives of the African National Congress, the Natal Indian Congress and the Transvaal Indian Congress, held here today, a resolution was passed calling for full franchise, equal economic and industrial rights, the removal of non-European land restrictions, free and compulsory Nation, freedom of movement and the abolition of the pass laws. The statement is signed by Dr A. B. Xuma, the President-General of the African National Congress, Dr G.M. Naicker, the President of the Natal Indian Congress, and Dr Y.M. Dadoo, President of the Transvaal Indian Congress. The following is the text of the resolution:

"This joint meeting between the representatives of the African National Congress and the Natal and Transvaal Indian Congresses, having fully realised the urgency of cooperation between the non-European peoples and other democratic forces for the attainment of basis human rights and full citizenship for all sections of the South African people, has resolved that a joint declaration of cooperation is imperative for the working out of a practical basis of cooperation between the national organisations of the non-European peoples."

"This joint meeting declares its sincerest conviction that for the future progress, goodwill, good race relations and for the building of a united, greater and free South Africa, full franchise rights must be extend to all sections of the South African people, and to this end this joint meeting pledges the fullest cooperation between the African and Indian peoples and appeals to all democratic and freedom-loving citizens of South Africa, to support fully and cooperate in this struggle for full franchise."

The ANC, APO and the Indian Congresses discuss cooperation

Mr. M.D. Naidoo, on his return from Johannesburg, where he attended, on behalf of the Natal Indian Congress, the meeting oil-March between the African National Congress, the APO and the Natal and Transvaal Indian Congresses, stated that "the desire to evolve some method whereby the distinctive efforts of the different non-European communities to bring to an end colour discrimination may be coordinated and of assistance to each other was as keenly expressed by the African and coloured delegates as by the Indian delegates.

"The decision to hold meetings under the joint auspices of the three national organisations in Johannesburg and Durban is the first step in translating into reality the historic declaration issued on 9 March. The persistent attempt of reactionary European groups to sow discord and widen the breach has failed. On the other hand, the gulf has been bridged and a sure foundation laid on which the structure of permanent cooperation may be built. It should be emphasised once again that the recognition of a common basic pattern in me laws applying to the different races in South Africa which has led links being forged between the African National Congress, the APU and the Indian Congresses does not mean that an anti-White movement is being launched. The non-European people are joining hands because it is as non-Europeans that they are deprived of democratic rights and subjected to racially oppressive laws. They would welcome the friendship and assistance of democratic Europeans. It requires to be emphasised also that this coordination does not mean a submergence of identity or a loss of independence. On the contrary, it should be a source of strength that the efforts of one should assist the other and thereby make cooperation more fruitful. It may now be said that the winning of democratic rights has been brought appreciably nearer.

Africans look Eastward -- Professor Jabavu

"A link-up based on affinity of colour will be next move in consolidating the position of the non-European in South Africa. Denied human rights in this country, Africans will look to the east, particularly India, which is now on the eve of attaining sovereign status, as the champion of the coloured races of the world," said Professor D.D.T. Jabavu, who is now in Maritzburg, in the course of an interview to a Leader representative.

"I fear that unless something is done quickly to disabuse the minds of Africans concerning their white rulers' policy, there will develop a significant trend towards separation of whites and blacks sentiment -- it's there in law already."

"If that happens," Mr. Jabavu said, "Africans will look to the east, first to India, then to China, and afterwards to Japan and the Soviet Union for their spiritual home. I say this deliberately and in no sense as an extremist."

"The colour bar in this country has made the non-white lose hope in western civilisation and feel that his destiny lies in eastern political power. I believe eventually the whole of Asia will be one unit, sentimentally and politically linked with Russia."

"As a fighter against the colour bar, I belong to a group aiming Marshalling non-whites, not in the hope of fighting physically against Europeans, but to get economic advantages and eventually to bring enough pressure on the Government to rescind the colour bar. 'We are struggling for absolute political equality, but by that I don't mean social mixing with whites. We are interested solely in the Capacity to live decently in our own home and develop in industry and professions now closed to us. We want appointments to important Government posts concerning our race."

NIC Plans Non-European Conference

The Natal Indian Congress decided at its conference on Sunday to convene a South African conference of representatives of the various Congress branches in the provinces of Natal, Transvaal and Cape Province within the shortest possible time at the most suitable venue.

The following proposals will be submitted for the consideration of the conference:

(a) The convention for a conference of non-European national organisation in South Africa:

(b) The inauguration of discussions between the various liberator' movements on the African Continents; and

(c) Request to the Indian National Congress to convene an All African-Asian Conference.

Before arriving at the decision the Congress carefully considered the constitutional position of the South African Congress, and the delay that is being caused by the appeal by the President and the Joint Secretaries of the SAIC against the Cape Supreme Court decision affecting the rights of the SAIC to hold meetings.

There was however a sharp cleavage of opinion of the competency of the Natal Indian Congress, to arrange such a conference. Some delegates felt that such a step would conflict with its terms of affiliation to the South African Congress.

Mr. Abdulla Moosa: Are we constitutionally competent ii'^ this conference?

Mr. J.N. Singh: it is within powers of the NIC to do so, further the people are looking forward to a lead from the NIC the largest constituent body of the South African Congress.

Mr. Debi Singh: The implications are grave and, therefore feel that this is a question which cannot be decided here in view our relations with the South African Indian Congress. I personally want more time to consider questions.

 

Mr. J.N. Singh felt that the NIC, despite what was said an independent body and so competent to convene the conference. It was decided to convene the conference. The details were left the executive committee of the NIC.

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Last updated : 04-Oct-2016

This article was produced for South African History Online on 31-Mar-2011