Fatima Seedat

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Biographical information

Fatima Seedat

Synopsis:

Member of the Communist Party in Cape Town and after her marriage became a member of the Natal Indian Congress and the ANC. First jailed in 1946 for her role in the passive resistance in Durban, jailed for the second time in 19

First name: 
Fatima
Last name: 
Seedat
Date of birth: 
14 October 1922
Location of birth: 
Strand, Cape Town
Date of death: 
2003
Location of death: 
Durban

Fatima Seedat was born in the Strand, Cape Town on 14 October 1922. She attended Trafalgar High school up to what was standard 8 in those days. Together with her twin sister, Rahima Moosa she became politically active as a teenager on noticing the impact the segregation laws had in South Africa. She joined the Communist Party in Cape Town, and it was during this time that she met her would be husband, Dawood Seedat, a fellow communist from Durban.

In 1945 she married Dawood and moved to Durban, where she continued her work for the Communist Party.

In Durban she got involved with the politics of the Indian community and became a member of the Natal Indian Congress. When the Indian Congress joined forces with the African National Congress as a result of the Dadoo-Naicker-Xuma Pact of 1947, she also became a member of the ANC.

Fatima was first jailed in 1946 for her role in the passive resistance in Durban, this occurred when her baby was only four months old. She was jailed for the second time in 1952 for her role in the defiance campaign and was sentenced to one month of hard labour. In 1956, Fatima participated in the historic Women’s March to the Union Buildings on August 9th.

She and her twin sister, Rahima always confused the security branch police as the two were identical. In 1964, Fatima and her husband were banned for five years under the Suppression of Communism Act. Although she remained a member of the ANC, she could not be active after this as she suffered from diabetes.

She died in 2003 in Durban.

Last updated : 08-Aug-2017

This article was produced for South African History Online on 08-Oct-2011

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