H. A. Naidoo

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Biographical information

Synopsis:

Trade unionist, member of the national council of Non-European United Front, member of the Central Committee of the South African Communist Party, radio journalist

First name: 
H. A.
Last name: 
Naidoo
Date of birth: 
1915
Date of death: 
1971

H. A. Naidoo was born in Durban in 1915 and was recruited into the Communist Party in the mid-1930s by Edward Roux. He became an active trade unionist, and Natal sugar workers made important gains under his leadership in the early 1940s. Naidoo represented a generation of young Indians impatient with the divisions that had up to that time plagued Indian political organisations and prevented them from making common cause with Africans. In 1939 he was elected to the national council of the Non-European United Front. From 1945 until 1950 he was a member of the central committee of the Communist Party, serving on the staff of the Guardian in Cape Town. Naidoo accompanied A. B. Xuma, Sorabjee Rustomjee and Hyman Basner to the United Nations in 1946 as a representative of the South African Passive Resistance Council. In 1948 he was among the Communist leaders eventually brought to trial in the government's abortive attempt to prove sedition in connection with the African mine strike of 1946. The following year he took an active part in trying to reconcile Africans and Indians in the aftermath of the Durban riots. In 1951 he left South Africa and worked for several years for Radio Budapest, later making his home in Britain. He died in 1971.


References:
• Gerhart G.M and Karis T. (ed)(1977). From Protest to challenge: A documentary History of African Politics in South Africa: 1882-1964, Vol.4 Political Profiles 1882 - 1964. Hoover Institution Pres: Stanford University.

Last updated : 04-Nov-2016

This article was produced for South African History Online on 17-Feb-2011