Grey Street Complex timeline 1800-1999

Queen Elizabeth visits Currie's 1947

1854
15 May, The proclamation of the settlement of Durban into a Borough. The European population stands at 1,204.
1858
The Umzinto Sugar Company organises indentured Chinese and Malay labour from Java. These labourers were the first Muslim workers in Natal.
1860
September, Cemetery sites are set aside in Durban.
12 October, Mr. Fisher is appointed full time Town Clerk at a salary of 200 pounds per annum.
6 November, The first group of Indian indentured labourers arrive at the South Beach of Port Natal, which was later to become Durban. They arrived on the SS Truro. Records show that 342 indentured Indians arrived.
25 November, The second group of indentured labourers arrive. 24 people died on the journey from suspected cholera.
Badshah Peer, a member of the Qadafi Sufi order, an unorthodox Islamic cult, arrives in South Africa as an indentured labourer.
1861
March, The town council sets aside 15 17 4 to employ 17 adults Indians for 28 days labour at a rate of 8 d. per day.
1862
The population of Europeans in the borough numbers 2,567. 1593 Africans number and 153 Indians, making a total of 4,313. The majority of Indians are indentured workers employed by the City Council. Most of them are housed in the Cooperation barracks.
6 January, Father Ralph Scott arrives in Durban to set up a Methodist Mission amongst the Indian people.
1863/64
The barracks for “corporation Indians” are built.
1874
Durban’s population: Europeans 4129; Africans 2252; Indians1860. Total 8241.
Bishop Charles Constance Jolivet is appointed the second Vicariate Apostolic of Natal.
1876
Indian market gardeners start selling their fruit and vegetables in the Gardener Street area, behind the present Post Office.
Father Ralph Scott raises enough money to build a Methodist Chapel in Queen Street.
1877
A few ‘westernised’ Indian children are allowed to attend white schools.
1878
The Bell Street barracks are completed to house tough labour.
Lancers Road Recreation Ground is laid out for sports and athletic purposes.
Curries Fountain well is sunk and pipes are laid, providing the towns with water.
St Joseph’s Cathedral is designed by the English firm of architects Goldie, Child and Goldie and is built in this year.
1879
The Zulu War breaks out.
22 January, The Battle of Isandlwana takes place.
1881
Indians and Bamboo square – unhygienic conditions – the square was raised down in 1903 – Bubonic plague. (date not confirmed)
August – Aboobaker Amod (Jhavery) and Hajee Mahomed Hajee Dada purchase a site in Grey Street from K. Moonsamy for 115 pounds for the construction of a mosque. The Juma Masjid is the first mosque to be built in Natal.
1882
Grey Street is hardened at a cost of 811 pounds.
1884
Dr. Lancelot Parker Booth, a surgeon trained in Scotland who had joined the Natal Immigration Department as a District Surgeon and medical officer for the Alexandra county on the south coast, returns to England.
The brick and mortar structure erected in Grey Street in 1881 is rebuilt and enlarged.
15 February, The estate of Aboobaker Amod Jhaveri buys land adjacent to the Juma Masjid to enable its expansion.
Ismail Mahomed Paruk, a prominent Muslim, arrives in Durban from Mauritius and soon establishes his first retail business in West Street.
1885
Dr. Lancelot Parker Booth completes his theological studies and is ordained to the priesthood. He is appointed as Minister and later Diocesan Superintendent of Indian Missions in Natal.
1887
Kesur Jivan Kapitan, father of Ranchod, the owner of Kapitan’s Balcony Hotel, arrives in Durban.
Saint Aidan’s Church is built in Cross Street. It remains in use until 1966.
1889
Hajee Mahomed Dada, in his capacity as the only trustee of the Grey Street Mosque, purchases more adjoining land as a result of a sharp increase in worshippers.
1890s
The Durban Town Council attempts to shut down the Indian market, but after negotiations with the trustees of the Grey Street Mosque it is arranged that the market continues to operate on a nominal annual payment of ten pounds to the Durban Corporation.
Towards the end of the decade African refugees from Zululand move to the city to find employment.
1890
The Indian Committee, Durban is formed.
1894
The Natal Indian Congress is established.
1897
14 September, The Saint Aidan’s Mission Hospital is opened with the help of funds donated by the Natal Indian Congress and Parsee Rustomjee.
1899
The government discontinues the admission of Indian children into white schools.
The Higher Grade Indian School is established by the government.
9 January, The constitution of the Juma Masjid Sunat Anjuman Islam is amended and signed.
22 March, Seven Muslim merchants from Durban form the Mohammedan Trust Kings Rest buy a piece of land intended for the occupation of the Zanzibari community.
1900
The local fruit market is moved to the Juma Masjid or Grey Street Mosque.
1903
Bishop Charles Constance Jolivet commissions Street-Wilson and Paton to design the Emmanuelle Cathedral.
Hajee Mahomed A Motala comes to South Africa.
1904
By this year there are 60 Indian and African traders and 25 eating stalls in Grey Street and the Queen Street Market.
The first of two minarets on the Grey Street Mosque are constructed.
1905
May, The Durban Municipality opens its first eating-house.
The second of two minarets is added to the Grey Street Mosque.
Extensions are made to the West Street Masjid including two floors added to the rear (southern side) of the masjid, a twenty-foot minaret added on the West Street side and a ground floor consisting of shops with first-floor apartments for occupation by the imam and his family.
1908
The Native Beer Act (No. 23) is passed.
1910
1 August, The Durban Corporation opens the Indian Market at the western end of Victoria Street.
The Supreme Court of Natal rules that the trusteeship of the Grey Street Masjid in Durban be extended to other Muslim groups, other than the Memon community.
1912
Ganda Chagan Kapitan opens G.C. Kapitan Vegetarian Restaurant at 154 Grey Street.
1914
The Lorne Street Methodist Chapel is built as a result of a gift from Lady Greenacre, Father Ralph Scott’s daughter.
The publication The Indian Views is founded by Mahomed Cassim Angalia in Durban.
1916
The Juma Masjid Trust, Durban, takes control of land, property and total maintenance of the Zanzibari settlement.
1917
The Madressa Anjuman Islam Trust is established in Durban.
1918
The Pine Street madrasah, which adjoins the West Street masjid, is demolished to enlarge the prayer area of the latter and the minaret is raised four floors.
1920
The May Street Masjid is established on the corner of May and Fynn Streets in Durban.
1922
Hajee Mahomed A Motala founds a school for children of the Durban Corporation workers in May Street, Durban.
1924
A census shows that 220 African traders are operating in and around Durban’s municipality-controlled ‘Native’ eating-houses.
1924 -1925
Kapitan’s Balcony Hotel, on the corner of Grey Street and Victoria Street, is opened by Ranchod Kesur Kapitan.
1925
Champion arrives in Durban as the new Natal Provincial Secretary and Durban Branch Chairman of the ICU.
December. The Workers’ opens its doors and operates from 11 Leopold Street.
1926
17 August, Clements Kadalie leaves Johannesburg for Durban. He is met in Durban by Champion. They held mass meetings of 5000 plus each day for five days.
The ICU office in Leopold Street is built. Subsequently the ICU purchased a property in Prince Albert Street.
About this time the dipping of Africans was challenged by the ICU and the practice was dropped.
1927
The ICU holds its annual meeting in Durban at the Parsee Rustomjee Hall in Queen Street.
The Grey Street Mosque is rebuilt.
1928
The Workers’ Club changes its name to the Natal Workers’ Club.
The property at 25 Leopold Street was bought on behalf of the ICU by Champion, but as a result of a dispute between Champion and Ballinger, the land was forfeited and auctioned of at the end of the year.
1929
June, African workers in Durban mount a boycott of beer halls in protest to municipal monopoly of beer and other grievances.
17 June, 600 white vigilantes surround the ICU Hall in Prince Edward Street. They beat an African to death and attempt to storm the beer hall, as they believe that two white ‘traitors’, S.M. Petterson and A.F. Batty are in the hall.
The Beer Hall riots take place.
The shop Vuka Afrika, owned by Champion and Bertha Mkhize and managed by Champion’s wife, collapses during the 1929 disturbances.
1930s-1950s
Nicol Square, bounded by Grey Street, Commercial Road, Pine Street and Albert Street becomes the central point for political mass meetings.
1931
The Bethesda Temple is founded by J.F. Rowlands, a pastor of the Full Gospel Church of God in Southern Africa.
11 October, Pastor Rowlands holds his first gospel meeting for the formation of Bethesda at the Magazine Barracks in Durban.
1932
The Durban Municipality pass regulations for the control of dance and beer halls as a result of the 1929 riots.
1934
The Squatters Market is moved to Warwick Avenue.
The Bantu Social Centre opens its doors in Queen Street. Concerts, ingoma dance and boxing were presented at the center.
1936
6 September, The Bethesda Temple is built in Lorne Street and opens its doors for the first time.
1940
The Avalon Cinema is opened by Kajee and Moosa.
1942
The Young Men’s Muslim Association of Durban is founded.
1943
Further extensions are made to the Grey Street Mosque.
April, The Natal Muslim Council is founded in Durban.
1947
June, The Ahmedia Government-Aided Indian School opens in Mayville, Durban.
The South Coast Madrasah Government-Aided Indian School in Clairwood, Durban, is established.
1950s
Grey Street is the scene of a taxi war involving gangs.
20 November, With the passing of the Group Areas Act (no. 41 of 1950), the Durban City Council appointed a technical sub-committee of officials to deliberate the rezoning of the city.
The Jamiatul Ulama Natal is founded for the religious and spiritual needs of Muslims.
The Arabic Study Circle is founded in Durban.
August, The Muslim Digest, a monthly publication incorporating The Five Pillars and Pakistan News, organ of the International Union of Islamic Service, is founded in Durban.
1952
The Municipal Library in Brook Street is built.
1953
Ramnikal Goshalia opens the Naaz Cinema.
1956
The Shah Jehan Cinema is established by the Rajab Brothers.
The ML Sultan College (now Technikon) in Centenary Road opens its doors.
1957
April, The Indian Market is declared one of Durban’s worst fire hazards by the Chief Officer of the Fire Department as a result of overstocking, bad storage and congestion.
The Grey Street area is declared a ‘controlled area’ by the technical sub-committee appointed by the Durban City Council in 1950. This committee was to deliberate on the rezoning of the city in response to the 1950 Group Areas Act.
1959
The As-Salaam Educational Institute is established by the Islamic Propagation Centre of Durban.
3 April, Africa Day Call. A call to the people of South Africa to observe April 15 as Africa Day was made this week by the African National Congress, the South African Indian Congress, the Congress of Democrats, the South African Coloured Peoples Organization and the South African Congress of Trade Unions.
This decision was taken at a recent meeting of the National Executives of the organizations constituting the Congress Alliance and according to a joint statement by the Congresses was in conformity with one adopted at the All Africa Peoples Conference held in Accra last year.
“The observance of Africa Day” the statement added “will symbolise our solidarity in this country with the struggle for freedom and independence now being waged throughout the country.”
Saying that next year more African states will achieve the “cherished goal” of complete freedom from foreign political control and that in other parts of Africa a large measure of autonomy had already been achieved, the statement added:
“It can therefore be anticipated that just over half the people of Africa will be free by the end of next year. This is a great victory for the anti-imperialist forces throughout the world.”
Continuing the statement said: “In our country the task of mobilising the people into a powerful united front against Nationalist Apartheid policies continues. The fight against the Group Areas continues.
“The campaign against apartheid in Universities gathers force; the Trade Unions in the name of all the workers are demanding a minimum wage of £1 a day to all workers and general increases all round. These and numerous other struggles of our people are being fought under the inspiration of the Congress Alliance (should this be there) on the basis of a common programme – the Freedom Charter.”
Quoting the Declaration on Imperialism and Colonialism adopted at the Accra Conference, the statement concluded by saying: “It is our belief that it is animated by the principle in the Declaration, that all our people in South Africa should observe ‘Africa Day’.”
22 May, Delegate to Olympics. The South African Sports Association has arranged for a representative to attend the Olympic Games Committee in Munich this month.
It is not yet disclosed whether the delegate is a South African or not.
A 70-page memorandum has been drawn up by the SASA giving an outline of racialism in South African sport and has already been submitted.
5 June, Protest over pensioners’ scandal
Following disclosures by “The Leader” last week that old age pensioners and others receiving grants at the Office of the Protector of Indian Immigrants, Durban, are experiencing hardships because identity numbers and cards must be provided, the Natal Indian Congress has sent a strong protest to the Department of Pensions.
The Congress said: “ Your department is a public department for the benefit of the public, and those associated with the department are public servants who must have sympathy for the public.
“But it seems that your department is being used to compel pensioners to carry identity cards when under the Population Registration Act there is no legal provision that compels them to do so.”
12 June, Condemned. The banishment by the Government of Mr. Ben Bartman, Chairman of the Worcester Branch of the African National Congress was strongly condemned by the Youth Action Committee of the African National Congress (Natal) and the Natal Indian Youth Congress.
Mr. Bartman was banished to exile in Mngomezulu, Zululand, and the two organizations in a statement said: “We pledge our unflinching support to Mr. Bartman and all the other victims of this vicious persecution.
“We warn the Nationalist Government that banishments will never silence the voice of the people.”
The statement also calls upon “ freedom-loving people of South Africa and youth in particular to protest and condemn this “brutal and unjustified treatment“ of people “whose only crime is to fight for nobler ideals.”
26 June, A pioneer goes to his rest
Mr. PG Naicker, seventy-three year old father of Dr GM Naicker, President of the South African Indian Congress, passed away last Sunday after a long illness. His death removes from the South African Indian scene another of those pioneers whose perseverance and toil helped to build the future for the generations that followed.
The late Mr. Naicker was a self-made man. He was in business as an exporter of fruits and vegetables under the name of PG Naicker Bros and he established an enviable reputation for honesty and integrity.
From his early days he insisted on efficiency in all his work. Possessing a great love for education, he spent much of his wealth in giving his children the best of education and in bringing them up as true South Africans. His eldest son, Dr Naicker, has proved that all that his father has done was not in vain.
More than five hundred people from all walks of life, of different political affiliations – both Africans and Indians, attended the funeral at the Queen Street Cemetery. Two Africans led the coffin, carrying flags of the African National Congress.
26 June, The spate of recent bannings
The recent spate of banning orders issued against outstanding peoples’ leaders – Chief AJ Luthuli, Mr. Oliver Tambo and Adv Duma Nokwe – IS STRONGLY CONDEMNED BY THE Executive Committee of the Transvaal Indian Congress, says a statement issued this week.
Freedom-loving people all over the country cannot but feel the gravest apprehension at this arbitrary attack against the rights of the oppressed people of South Africa. At this period of increasing racial tension and turmoil caused by the policies of the Nationalist Government, this country more than ever before needs the services of these men who have contributed so much towards the promotion of racial peace and harmony.
The Indian people who are perhaps the worst victims of racial persecution have the greatest regard for the wisdom, foresight and courage of these leaders. Under their leadership the African National Congress has steered the people of this country wisely along the path of freedom and racial harmony.
The Minister of Justice, Mr. Swart, and the Government will do well to realise that such bannings and restrictions on the freedom of the leaders far from dampening the tempo of the freedom movement only serves to strengthen the spirit and determination of the people.
The Transvaal Indian Congress strongly protests against these bannings and demands the withdrawal of Banning orders not only against these three latest victims but also those scores of people’s leaders who have been banned since 1952.
June, A group of women from Cato Manor invade the Victoria Street Beer Hall.
14 August, Property owners’ issue summons
Eighteen Indian property owners and residents on the Berea which has been zoned for white ownership and occupation under the Group Areas Proclamation of 6 June 1958, have summoned the Minister of the Interior and claimed an order to set aside and declare the Proclamations null and void. Among those who are bringing this action are Dr GM Naicker, President of the South African Indian Congress, Mr. SM Lockhat, a prominent Durban businessman, Mr. VK Naidu, a Durban school principal and Mr. MI Paruk, one of Durban’s well-known philanthropists. In summoning the Minister, the plaintiffs allege there are certain irregularities, which should have been looked into before the Proclamations were implemented.
21 August, Dr Naickers Independence message
The following message was sent to the President of the Indian Union, Dr Rajendra Prasad, by Dr GM Naicker, President of the South African Indian Congress, on the occasion of the 12th anniversary of India’s Independence:
“On behalf of the Indian people of South Africa, I send my warm greetings on the occasion of the twelfth anniversary of India’s Independence.
“We have watched with great admiration India’s political, economic, social and cultural developments and we are convinced that although the country is passing through a phase of economic frustration, it has great potentialities for the future.
“India’s non-violent influence on international affairs has been widely acclaimed, and as long as India continues this path it will be a great boon to mankind of the world.”
2 October, Mr. Bunting invited to Congress
Mr. Brian Bunting, former member of the Union Parliament has been invited by the Executive of the Natal Indian Congress to open the Congress’s 12th Annual Provincial Conference at Gandhi Hall, Lorne Street Durban on 11 October.
This is the first time that the Natal Indian Congress will have a former MP to open its Annual Conference. Mr. B Bunting, who was elected to Parliament as a representative of the African people of the Western Cape was banned from participating in the debates in Parliament by the Minister of Justice, Mr. Swart.
Mr. Brian Bunting will have before it the question of non-white franchise on all levels of government as one of the matters for discussion. The municipal franchise and the Congress viewpoint will be thoroughly discussed by the delegates.
6 November, Matthews told proud of Courageous Stand
Dr GM Naicker, President of the Natal Indian Congress, has sent the following telegram to Professor ZK Matthews who resigned from Fort Hare:
“We are proud of the courageous stand you have taken to demonstrate your firm opposition to the extinction of free and democratic teaching and learning at Fort Hare.
“The Indian people recognise the noble sacrifice by great educationist, great son and great leader of freedom-loving peoples in South Africa.
“Your meritorious example of sacrifice breathes new life into our struggle for full democratic rights.”
4 December, Invitation to Dr Naicker
Information released from Natal Indian Congress Headquarters says that Dr GM Naicker, President of the SAIC, has been invited to open the annual national conference of the African National Congress, scheduled to take place on December 12 at Curries Fountain, Durban.
A spokesman for the Congress told “The Leader” that this will be the first time that the ANC conference is held in Durban consecutively. The 1958 conference took place in Durban last year (but it is usual) for these conferences to be held in different centres each year, and not at one centre consecutively.
11 December, NIC to help Indian property owners
Several Indian property owners in Durban have received notices from the Group Areas Board concerning valuations placed by the Board for their properties, which have been included in the official list of properties.
The notices stated that any objections against the valuation should be made within 21 days.
The Natal Indian Congress has invited all property owners who have received such notices to consult Congress at their office at 312 Lakhani Chambers, 2 Saville Street, Durban.
1960s
The Victoria Street market has nearly 300 stalls selling from curios to foodstuffs.
1960
15 January, TUC decision welcomed by Congress
The decision of the Trade Union Congress of the United Kingdom to support the British Labour Party’s one-month boycott of South African goods as a protest against the Union’s apartheid policy was welcomed by the South African Indian Congress.
In a statement the South African Indian Congress, which has its headquarters in Durban, said that this decision by the Trades Union Congress, which has a membership of more than 8 million, was yet another blow against the recalcitrant racial policies practiced by the South African government.
“It is a clear denunciation of the wrath of civilised people elsewhere in the world against the narrow apartheid policy of the Union which is creating conditions to lead South Africa to disaster.
“While we appreciate this outspoken, unanimous and united demonstration” the statement continues “it is necessary for all in the Union who are democratic minded to come together in a united front to save South Africa from the dangers that lie ahead.”
29 January, Boycott may hit non-whites first
Will the non-white peoples of South Africa be the very groups to be hit first by the proposed boycott of South African exports? The London office of the Boycott Movement (issued a statement) signed by Mr. Peter Brown, chairman of the Liberal Party of South Africa, Mr. GM Naicker, President of the South African Indian Congress and Mr. Albert Luthuli, leader of the African National Congress conceding that it might be so. It says in part:
“It has been argued that non-white people will be the first to be hit by external boycotts. This may be so, but every organisation which commands any important non-white support in South Africa is in favour of them. The alternative”¦is a bleak prospect of unending discrimination. Economic boycott is one way in which the world at large can bring home to the South African authorities that they must either mend their ways or suffer for them.
“With trade unions frowned upon, strikes illegal and their buying power limited, non-white South Africans face real problems in mounting sufficiently effective internal pressures to be able to influence the Government. They look for assistance abroad, and particularly to the people of Britain.”
18 March, Festival Boycott call
The Joint Congresses consisting of the Congress of Democrats, the South African Congress of Trade Unions, the Natal Indian Congress and the African National Congress (Natal) have called on all people - Black and White - to boycott the Durban City Council’s celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the Union of South Africa.
In a statement, the Joint Congresses said the boycotts were planned as a protest against the Governments policy of apartheid. “The Congresses are of the opinion that the non-white peoples, in particular, have little to celebrate on this occasion as the fifty years since Union was formed have been marked by one oppressive Act of legislation after another,” the statement said.
“The occasion, we feel, calls for protests, and we appeal to the non-white population and to all democrats to observe the occasion by:
*Attending counter demonstrations against the Festival which will be organised throughout the Union
*Organising prayer meetings in churches, mosques, temples and synagogues
*Refusing to participate in any function organised by the authorities for the occasion
1961
13 January, Congress in arrears with rates
The Natal Indian Congress properties in Prince Edward Street and May Street, Durban, may be sold in execution to recover arrear rates.
Altogether 201 properties, most of them Indian-owned, have been advertised by the Acting Sheriff of Natal to be sold in execution in the Lecture Hall of the City Hall on Monday 6 February commencing at 9am.
A large number of the properties may be sold to whites only under the Group Areas Act, and it is possible that some of the properties in Cato Manor may be bought by the Group Areas Development Board.
If the rates due and the costs are paid, the sale will be cancelled. It is therefore likely that some of the properties may not come up for sale after all.
3 February, Support for Luthuli’s comments
Dr GM Naicker, President of the South African Indian Congress, has issued the following press statement supporting ex-Chief Albert Luthuli’s comments on the Progressive Party’s policies.
“We agree with Chief Luthuli that the Progressive Party is the only political party in Parliament which has made a positive departure from the racial approach and thinking of both the Nationalist and the United Parties.
“On many fundamental issues the South African Indian Congress does not agree with the policies of the Progressive Party, but it is heartening to find the Progressive Party putting forward to the white electorate policies which take into account the realities of the South African situation.
“To the extent to which the Progressive Party makes merit and not face the test for individual worth, we welcome its non-racial approach.
“The Indian people, too, are keenly interested in observing the reactions of the white electorate to the policies of the Progressives, for these reactions will in some measure indicate the extent to which white South Africans are prepared to abandon the racist policies of the Nationalist and the United Parties.
“The outcome of the provincial by-election between the United Party and the Progressives in Green Point will therefore be of great political significance to all South Africans on both sides of the colour line.”
3 February, Maritzburg to get first Congress
For the first time since it was founded in 1894, the Natal Indian Congress will be holding its provincial conference in Pietermaritzburg. The meeting is scheduled to open on March 3 at the Lotus Hall, and the business sessions will continue on March 4 and 5 at the same venue.
Mr. NT Naicker, Secretary-General of the Natal Indian Congress, told the Leader that the decision to hold the conference in Pietermaritzburg was taken at the last conference of the Congress. The Executive has invited Prof. ZK Matthews, a senior vice-president of the now banned African national congress, to open the conference.
Mr. Naicker said that in terms of the new constitution of Congress, branches which will be represented are required to have not less than 15 paid up members.
“It is expected that conference will have a political report which will deal with the present political situation following an objective analysis of the main events that crowded the year 1960 – a year which has been described by many in political circles as a crucial and eventful one” Mr. Naicker said.
10 February, Naicker says “inhuman” beach plan
Dr GM Naicker, President of the Natal Indian Congress, in a statement condemns the “unrealistic and inhuman” decision of the Group Areas Board in refusing the use of amenities at t he Durban beaches by non-whites.
Dr Naicker says, “The decision of the Group Areas Board in refusing the application by the Durban City Council to erect amenities for non-whites using the Durban beaches is not only unrealistic but inhuman.
“It does not take into account the fact that Durban’s population comprises more than two-thirds non-whites and that for many, many years members of the non-white groups – Indians, Coloureds and Africans – along with whites have used the beaches.
“The ruling of the Board is deeply resented. The Board has in fact decided that non-whites are not entitled to the use of any beach in Durban and that the waters of the Indian Ocean lapping the shores of Durban are the exclusive preserve of Whites only.
“Such a decision would not only be unjust, but would be ridiculous, and the non-white people would not submit to such an edict if it were proclaimed.
Congratulating the Mayor of Durban, Mr. CA Milne, for his stand in announcing that the City Council would defy the Group Area Board’s decision on the beaches, Dr Naicker urged the Durban City Council to give the Mayor “full support” in his stand.
3 March, Call to Support Theatre
The Indian people in particular, and the non-white people in general, have been strongly advised by Dr GM Naicker, President of the Natal Indian Congress, to support the season of plays to be produced by Dr Peter Hey’s Phoenix Players at the Orient Islamic Institute, Durban, from March 2 to 11.
In a statement Dr Naicker said:
“This performance includes the first play with a mixed cast in South Africa. The plays are Bernard Shaw’s ‘Don Juan in Hell’ and [Jean-Paul Satre’s] ‘The Respectable Prostitute’ and are to be staged before integrated audiences.
“The mixed cast makes a welcome departure from the white social pattern so inimical to a development of culture.
“The non-white people must show their appreciation by patronising these plays and thereby enjoying Bernard Shaw and Jean Paul Satre in a correct atmosphere.
“I am sure, too, the white public of Durban and Pietermaritzburg will give unstinting support to the efforts of DR Peter Hey. I want to take this opportunity of expressing my people’s appreciation of Dr Peter Hey.”
17 March, Congress message for Eid
Dr GM Naicker, President of the South African Indian Congress, said: “I greet all Muslims on the occasion of Eid Ul Fatkir which is celebrated at the termination of the great and enduring fast of Ramadhan.
“During this fast we are conscious of the great spiritual forces that guide our entire life in all different aspects, and in this Apartheid-conscious country we hope that our Muslim brethren will emerge from the occasion with new faith and hope for the defeat of those forces which perpetuate in the discrimination of mankind on the grounds of race and colour.
“During these months we set ourselves the realisation of the highest principles in life and the worthiest resolutions that mankind takes for its liberation from evil deprivation and tyranny.
“On behalf of the South African Indian Congress, I extend to all who observed the fast a very warm wish for the future.”
12 May, Demand for convention meeting
A mass meeting is being called by the Overport and Sydenham branches of the Natal Indian Congress at the St Aidan’s Indian Boys’ School, Clayton Rd, Sydenham, on Sunday 14 May to discuss the national convention call mooted by the recent All African Peoples’ Conference.
Mr. K Moonsamy, secretary of both branches, told the Leader that the Indian Congress, through its President, Dr GM Naicker, had already issued a call for a national convention.
“Indian people have been asked to give their fullest support to this call and the decision of the All African Peoples’ Conference, and to unite with all anti-Nationalist forces to defeat the apartheid republic.
“The main purpose of this meeting will be to discuss the decision of the All African Peoples’ Conference demanding a national convention to be convened by the Nationalist Government not later than May 31.”
Mr. Moonsamy said that the policy of the Natal Indian Congress in regard to the demand for a national convention and the vital decisions of the All-African Peoples’ Conference will be outlined at the Sunday meeting.
19 May, Renewed call for convention
About 500 people unanimously endorsed the call for a National Convention of all people of South Africa, at a meeting held on Sunday, under the auspices of the Mayville and Manor Gardens branches of the Natal Indian Congress.
Mr. Harry Deoduth, chairman of the meeting, said that the time had come near for action, and he called upon the people to take heed of the call by the All African Peoples’ Conference in Pietermaritzburg for holding such a convention.
He urged parents to tell their children to accept the Republican medallions and flags commemorating the declaration of the Republic of South Africa.
Mr. George Mbhele, a prominent member of the African community, said that by banning the African National Congress, the government had deprived the African people of a legitimate means of organising themselves.
Others who spoke included Mr. L Castril of the Congress of Democrats and Mr. K Moonsamy of the Natal Indian Congress.
A resolution passed at the meeting called on the Government to hold a national convention of all races before May 31.
2 June, Congress says Mr. Kajee should have said “No”
In a statement on Mr. AS Kajee’s acceptance of a Government invitation to attend the Republic Day celebrations in Pretoria, the Natal Indian Congress said that Mr. Kajee’s action “will find no echo among any body of Indians.”
The statement said: “There is no section of the Indian people in South Africa that is able to show any sympathy for the Nationalist republic. Mr. Kajee’s action will find no echo among any body of Indians. We have no cause for joining the celebrations ushering in a Republic.
“Even at this late hour, the Nationalist Party Government is turning a deaf ear to the growing volume of voices putting forward a case for the calling of a National Convention so that government in our country may be based upon the consent of the people.
“No Indian should participate in the celebrations, even to the extent of merely attending the State function. Let South Africa and South Africans understand that Mr. Kajee is acting as an individual from individual motives.”
16 June, Protest at Fort Hare closing
The Natal Indian Congress views the closing down of the University College of Fort Hare as a “cowardly act of the Nationalist Government in dealing with legitimate and genuine grievances of the African people.”
In a statement the NIC said, “In all aspects of our lives – political, economic, social and cultural – the non-white people are treated as mere chattels. The students at Fort Hare, for many years, have fought bitter battles for academic integration, and by their recent demonstrations they have focused public attention of the grave drawbacks of the ethnic segregate institutions, and their protest was symbolic of the struggles of the non-white people in the various aspects of our life.”
Deprecating what it described as “the narrow-minded policies” of those controlling the institutions, Congress demanded that Fort Hare be opened immediately to allow students to complete their term studies.
“Bickerings and rumblings are not only to be noted at Fort Hare but also at Turfloop, Ngoya, Salisbury Island and Bellville, and if this is the manner in which the Government intends to make its university apartheid policy work, then the students and the public at large have every right to make themselves heard against this policy.
“We are deeply appreciative of the action of Rhodes University in expressing their firm solidarity to the tenets of academic freedom.”
15 September, SAIC Officials
Dr GM Naicker was unanimously re-elected President of the South African Indian Congress. Advocate HE Mall and Mr. NT Naicker were elected Joint secretaries and Dr AH Sader and Mr. G Hurbans were elected honorary treasurers. Headquarters will remain in Natal.
13 October, Youth tribute to Gandhi
Officials and members of the Natal Indian Youth Congress marked the 92nd anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi – founder of the Natal Indian Congress and the Natal Indian Youth Congress in 1894, at the Delhi Restaurant, Grey Street, Durban. A meeting of the Youth Congress was held recently and tributes in honour of Gandhi were paid by the Executive members.
The Honorary Secretary of the Natal Indian Youth Congress, Sonny Bhagwan, paying tribute to the Mahatma stated: “Gandhi was the greatest of great leaders the world ever produced. His dynamic weapon of ‘Non-Violence’ symbolised the fight against evil and unjust laws. May the oppressed youths in our land of birth dedicate themselves to follow the ideals and footsteps of our late predecessor in the cause of peace and fair-play.”
The Democratic Youth Front and the Youth Action Committee held meetings recently and tributes in praise of Gandhi were paid.
29 December, Johannesburg school move protest
The Transvaal Indian Youth Congress says that the decision of the Transvaal Education Department to move the Johannesburg Indian High School and the Johannesburg Indian Girls’ School to Lenasia, 22 miles from the center of the city, is a classic example of the callousness of the authorities in dealing with Indians.
“Not only have we been pushed from pillar to post through the notorious Group Areas Act, and our homes, businesses, jobs and places of worship destroyed, but we are now denied the remaining few privileges we enjoy as a people. Our very existence as a people is threatened. We condemn the removals of the schools, which have been in existence for decades and view the action of the Government as another violation of basic human rights.
“It is as a result of the Government’s unjust, immoral and inhuman legislation flowing from their policy of apartheid that South Africa stands condemned in the eyes of the world and faces the bleak prospects of being universally isolated.”
Articles in Leader 1961 relating to BICA
3 February, BICA needs your aid
When it happens everybody will be moaning and complaining about the lack of cultural facilities and laying the blame upon our poor, miserable plight in the country. While the latter is undoubtedly true, remember that if it does happen, the blame will be upon Us.
For the past decade now the Bantu, Indian, Coloured Arts Group have been striving against great odds to create facilities for potential ability in the fields of singing, ballet, music and painting.
And it has done so at reduced fees that are hardly obtainable elsewhere. But now the BICA is running short of funds and might have to close down, all because there is no support for the group.
For the past decade that it has been in existence, it has been financed by European artists.
Mr. Juggie Pather, secretary of the BICA hopes that this year the non-white public will give it its ardent support, if BICA is not to be faced with extinction. He said that those who are not in a position to pay fees should contact the Group and arrangements will be made to accommodate them.
The office this year of the BICA will be moved to 94 Broadway Street.
1962
2 February, NIC opposed to beach zoning
The Natal Indian Congress has submitted a short memorandum reiterating its “total opposition” to Group Areas, in reply to an invitation from the Town Clerk to be present at a discussion with the chairman of the Durban City Council’s Beach Committee on the zoning of the beach for non-Whites in terms of the Group Areas Act.
Congress’ stand on this issue is that “the beach and amenities at the beach front should be made open to all the citizens of Durban without discrimination on the grounds of race or colour”, and that it “is totally opposed and will not support any plans which attempt to implement this Act”.
16 February, Worst fears confirmed, says TIC
“The statement by Mr. Maree, the Minister of Indian Affairs, on his Department’s Indian policy confirms the worst fears of all concerned,” says Mr. SM Nathie, joint honorary secretary of the Transvaal Indian Congress.
“Having ruined the Indian people for a period of fourteen years without their consent the Government is now seeking yes-men among us to implement their policy.”
The Transvaal Indian Congress warned the Indian people of the dire consequences of succumbing to the threats of the Minister, as there could be no peace for the Indian people within the framework of apartheid.
“No self-respecting Indian can surrender to such indignity and individuals who want to sell their souls for a mess of pottage dare not do so in the name of the community,” says Mr. Nathie.
16 March, Congress appeals to Banks
The South African Indian Congress has addressed letters to the head office of both the Standard and Barclays Bank to ascertain from them to what extent they practice the colour bar in recruiting their staff. Congress in its letter points out that it is collecting information for a research on colour bar in South Africa in order to make the facts known locally and overseas.
Both of these commercial banks have branches in many of the independent Afro-Asian states who will react against them most unfavourably if they continue their policy of race discrimination when they are international institutions.
The Natal Indian Organisation has also written to commercial banks in Durban appealing to them to employ educated Indians and thus help solve the problem of Indian employment.
16 March, Sharpeville Day meeting
The Congress Alliance (Natal) is organising a mass meeting to commemorate Sharpeville Day, 21st March, and to pay tribute to the martyrs of Sharpeville. This day will be observed throughout South Africa and abroad.
The commemoration gathering will take place at the Congress property, 95 Prince Edward Street (next to the Methodist Church in Greyville), at 5.30pm.
Apart from the meeting the Congress Alliance and the Liberal Party are organising a march down West Street on the same day at 1pm.
The march will be led by Dr GM Naicker, President of the South African Indian Congress, Mr. Alan Paton, President of the Liberal Party, Reverend A Sikakane and Mr. Stephen Dlamini, Vice-President of the South African Congress of Trade unions.
All sections of the people are invited to join the march and attend the meeting.
30 March, LEADER p. 9
United Front: Dadoo to make statement
Dr YM Dadoo, a former President of the South African Indian Congress, is expected to make a well-considered statement this week on the formal dissolution of the United Front Organisation, which has operated overseas since the emergency in South Africa.
The United Front consisted of the South African Indian Congress, the African National Congress, The Pan-African Congress and the South West African National Union, and its members have participated in numerous conferences in Africa and in London and it has also lobbied at the United Nations.
Mr. Oliver Tambo has commented on the dissolution and said that this action amounted to a formal recognition of a state of affairs that has existed since last August. The cause of the dissolution has been the differences between the African National Congress and the Pan-African Congress.
6 April, SAIC asks for integrated shows
The South African Indian Congress has requested Equity – the British Actors’ Union – to call on its members to perform in South Africa only to integrated audiences at common venues.
In a letter to Equity the SAIC points out that the present ruling to its members does not go far enough. While Congress welcomes Equity’s present stand as evidence of its opposition to segregation, the SAIC is not satisfied with segregated shows being held at the same venues.
20 April, Congressmen arrested
Three former leaders of the Congress Alliance were arr4ested in Johannesburg by the Security Branch last week. They are Mr. Walter Sisulu, a former secretary of the now banned African National Congress, Mr. Ben Turok, a former member of the Cape Provincial Council and National Secretary of the Congress of Democrats and Mr. AM Kathrada, a former executive member of the Transvaal Indian Congress.
In Durban also there was a great deal of activity on the part of the Security Branch supported by the ordinary police when between 50 and 60 police officers raided non-white homes. No arrests however were made in Durban.
The three arrested in Johannesburg have not yet been charged.
12 April, Protest rally
The Natal Indian Congress is to hold a public meeting, in protest against the declaration of Cato Manor as an area for white occupation, at the Mayville Indian Sports Ground, on Sunday, May 6, at 2.30pm.
Mr. GM Naicker, Advocate HE Mall and George Mbele are to speak.
27 April, TIC cables Mr. Louw
The Transvaal Indian Congress has sent a telegram to the Hon Mr. Eric Louw, Minister of Foreign Affairs, expressing surprise at his statement in Parliament that the position of Indian people had been improved under the Nationalist regime and asking him to rectify his misleading statement.
The telegram points out that the proclamation of Johannesburg as a White group area will uproot and displace almost the entire Indian community in the city. The same applied to Pretoria and many other towns. The misrepresentation of facts was highly deplorable.
“If anything, Indian people are persecuted and live under threat of losing means of livelihood. Suggest that you rectify misleading statement in interests if righteousness. False information can never exonerate evils of apartheid at home and abroad. Talking it off won’t change the situation,” says the telegram signed by the honourable secretaries SM Nathie and BT Naidoo.
17 August, Congress are “Indignant”
The project of the Department of Community Development to set up local authorities for Indians in various group areas throughout the country is viewed “with indignation” by the Transvaal Indian Congress.
In a press statement, the Congress says that the local authorities were being set up against the wishes of the Indian people and were designed to implement the policy of apartheid, which was based on the policy of race discrimination.
“Congress firmly believes that such an imposition can never be a real alternative to extension of democratic rights and reiterates its total opposition to the whole project as inimical to the true interests of the Indian people.”
7 September, Youth Congress denies press report
The Natal Indian Youth Congress in a Press statement has refuted a report, which appeared in a local weekly stating that the Youth Congress was responsible for moving a vote of no confidence in the leadership of the Natal Indian Congress.
“We categorically deny this and wish to reaffirm our full confidence in the policy of the Natal Indian Congress. The decision to make this known to those who may have been misled by the article was unanimously adopted at a meeting of the executive of the Youth Congress.
“The Natal Indian Youth Congress did not send any delegation to any conference of the Natal Indian Congress.”
1963
The University College for Indians (now the University of Durban-Westville) is founded.
15 February, Strong Youth support for Naicker
The Natal Indian Youth Congress stood “militantly alongside” DR GM Naicker, President of the Natal and South African Indian Congresses, in his defiance of the Group Areas Act, said a Press statement issued by the youth body.
“This firm and noble stand taken by our leader clearly indicates his attitude to injustice and servitude.”
The statement said that time and again Dr Naicker had maintained that the Group Areas Act would bring misery and hardship to the entire Indian community.
“The evils embodied in this undemocratic Act have been exposed to all nations of the world through the Congress under the leadership of Dr Naicker.”
The Youth Congress has written to Dr Naicker applauding his stand and expressing its wholehearted support for his action.
“Your noble and gallant stand against this vicious Act will be highlighted by all democratic-minded peoples in this country and the world over as a step in the right direction,” says the letter.
15 February, NIC protests
The Natal Indian Congress has written to the Director of Education, Mr. LJT Biebuyck, complaining of the refusal to admit children of school-going age to the Mayville Government Indian School, in spite of accommodation being available.
The letter signed by Mr. K Moonsamy, general –secretary of the Natal Indian Congress, also states that the Department’s instruction to schools not to conduct a census this year has caused much concern.
Position revealed
“We are certain that if a census was taken at all schools, lack of accommodation or availability of accommodation would be revealed.
“In the circumstances” he said, “ Congress is of the view that the Department should take immediate steps, either to admit the children who have been refused admission or hold a census to determine the true position.”
February 22 - NIC attacks Sunday ban
The “unholy interference” with the sabbatical recreation of sportsmen – the Nationalist Government’s proposed “never on Sundays” sport ban – and the imposition of “empty Calvinistic Christendom” comes under fire from the Natal Indian Congress.
“In restive South Africa where the avenues of freedom are being rapidly eclipsed by controls, prohibitions and restrictions, the ban on Sunday sport will definitely add to the tension that is mounting against apartheid in this country.
“If the ‘never on Sundays’ ban was to become a reality it would deal a heavy death blow to non-white organised sport, both to participants and to spectators.”
Other avenues
“We can only visualise a South African Sunday in which large numbers of our people will take to other avenues which can lead to a deterioration and stultification of the mental, moral and physical development", says Congress.
It was, therefore, incumbent on all persons who are engaged in sport to resent “this unholy interference with their recreational lives, and to call meetings to protest against the imposition of the Nationalist Government’s empty Calvinistic Christendom.”
Congress states that there were other religions in South Africa that placed no obstacles in the way of physical development no matter what day was chosen for it.
8 March, NIC backs African Trade Union
The Natal Indian Congress has backed a memorandum for higher wages and improved conditions of work which has been sent to the Durban City Council by the African Municipal Workers’ Union last week.
In a letter to the Mayor of Durban, Mr. CA Milne, the Natal Indian Congress says that African trade unions are legal organisations and no legislation debars them from existing.
The letter continues: “Acceptance of this fact by the City Council should induce the Council to recognise the AMWU which has a constitution and elects its office bearers on democratic lines."
By recognising the Union, the Congress feels that the City Council has nothing to lose but “an opportunity to discuss matters of employment and working conditions with an organised body of workers.”
“Much is to be gained from this relationship with the municipal workers.
“We therefore suggest that the Council should take a decision immediately to recognise the AMWU. This will help to discuss the various proposals that have been submitted by the union.”
The letter warns that a refusal to adopt this suggestion may lead to “dissatisfaction” and be “harmful” to the relationship between the council’s employees and the council.
5 April, Director to discuss bans
The Natal Education Department’s ban on Indian teachers serving on school committees will be discussed when the Director of Education, Mr. LTJ Biebuyck, meets the teachers’ representatives.
This was indicated in a reply by the Director to an NIC statement condemning the ban and asking for its withdrawal. The statement said that bannings did not seem to be the prerogative of the Nationalist Government.
In his letter the Director states: “It is not possible for me to comment on its contents. I shall, in due course, discuss the matter with the teachers’ representatives.
21 June, Banning order on NIC Vice-President
Dr MN Padayachee, a Durban dentist, was served with an order naming him as a banned person under the Suppression of Communism Act for five years and is confined to the Magisterial District of Durban. The notice was signed by Mr. BJ Vorster, Minister of Justice, and was served on Dr Padayachee by members of the Special Branch of the South African Police at his surgery on Monday. The ban takes effect immediately.
Dr Padayachee is prohibited from attending any social or political gatherings, Native hostels, locations or villages both in his personal or professional capacity in terms of the Urban Areas Consolidation Act, and is further prohibited with communicating with any other person who is banned under a similar order.
Dr Padayachee has to report to the police on Mondays between 7am and 6pm.
Dr Padayachee is 44 years old and is Vice-President of the Natal Indian Congress and an executive member of the South African Indian Congress. He is noted for his outspoken views on apartheid and the Group Areas Act. He is married and has two daughters.
5 July, First house arrest order in Natal
A general-secretary of the Natal Indian Congress, Mr. Narainsamy Thumbi Naicker (38), an attorney, of Rhodes Avenue, Westville, was last week served with a five-year banning order and a 12-hour house arrest order.
He is the first Natal Indian to be served with both orders at the same time, and the first to be placed under house arrest.
The banning order, served in terms of the Suppression of Communism Act, stipulates that Mr. Naicker must report to the Central Police Station, Durban, every Monday between 7am and 6pm.
It expires on May 31, 1968.
The 12-hour house arrest order also lays down that Mr. Naicker is not allowed to leave his home on public holidays and from 2pm on Saturday afternoons until 6.30am on Monday mornings.
Mr. Naicker is also the joint general-secretary of the South African Indian Congress.
5 July, Application by NIC fails
The Natal Indian Congress made an urgent application in the Supreme Court in Durban last week asking for the return of 11,000 copies of a leaflet taken by the Security Branch of the South African Police from the office of the Natal Indian Congress in Lakhani Chambers, Durban. After hearing argument Justice Kennedy dismissed the application.
The first respondent was the Minister of Justice; the second respondent was Colonel Williers, officer in charge of the Security Branch in Durban, and the third respondent the Chief Magistrate of Durban.
Mr. Babenia, an employee of the Natal Indian Congress, said in an affidavit the Natal Indian Congress together with the South African Congress of Trade Unions decided to hold a public meeting at the YMCA in Beatrice Street, Durban, on June 27 at 5.30pm. The meeting was to commemorate 26 June, which was held every year since 1950. They had always been held peacefully. For this occasion some 20,000 leaflets had been printed and about 3,000 were issued to the public during the day.
Mr. Babenia said that at about 5.45pm on June 25, Detective Sergeant Wessels of the Security Branch, with two members of the uniformed branch arrived at the Congress office and removed 11,000 leaflets. It was these leaflets the Congress wanted returned to them.
16 August, Death of Mr. SR Naidoo
Mr. SR Naidoo, doyen of South Africa’s Indian politicians and a prominent public figure in Natal, died at his home in Pietermaritzburg early on Wednesday last week. He was 78.
Born in Pietermaritzburg in 1855, Mr. Naidoo received his early education at the Boys’ Model School during the Natal Government’s regime. He was the first Indian to serve on two Government Commissions. He was a member of the Padison delegation in the early 1920’s and, in 1934, was a member of the Heaton Nicholls Commission and again in the Broome Colonisation Commission. In 1946 he went with a South African Indian Congress delegation to India.
Mr. Naidoo held high office in most public organisations in Pietermaritzburg. He was a former joint-secretary of the South African Indian Congress and at the time of his death he was local chairman of the Natal Indian Organisation.
He was life trustee of the Ayran Benevolent Society and he is best remembered for his work in the Maritzburg Indian Technical Institute, now merged with the ML Sultan Technical College, of which he was co-founder and chairman.
Mr. Naidoo is survived by his widow, four sons and six daughters.
1964
3 January, Y Congress sec. Banned
Three banning orders restricting the movements of a Natalian, Mr. Sonny Bhagwan, for the next five years were served earlier this week by the Minister of Justice, Mr. BJ Vorster. Mr. Bhagwan, an external BA student of the University of London, is secretary of the Natal Indian Youth Congress.
The orders were served early on Monday morning at his home in Sydenham Road, Durban. The house was also searched and Mr. Bhagwan was taken to the Central Police Station for questioning.
The ban that is effective until December 31, 1968, prohibits him from attending any social, political or academic gathering, and he is ordered to report every Monday between 7am and 7pm to the police.
During that period he must not absent himself from the magisterial district of Durban or be within any African location, hostel, village or compound.
He is further restricted from being present on any factory premises, printing works, publishing office, premises of any proscribed organisation, any place or area which constitutes the premises on which any public or private university, university college, school or other educational institution is situated, and the harbour area.
28 February, SANROC to carry on The banning of Mr. John Harris, chairman of the South African Non-Racial Olympic Committee, was described as “most unfortunate” by a top Durban sports administrator. He preferred to remain anonymous because “ you can never tell what might happen to me.”
Mr. Harris, who took over the work of the SAN-ROC since the banning of Mr. Dennis Brutus, has done a great deal in fighting for international recognition for South African sportsmen who are not able to go overseas “because of their colour.”
Mr. Harris was banned just a few days before he was to have addressed a big SAN-ROC conference that was held in Johannesburg on Sunday.
Mr. Harris also intended giving the line of action SAN-ROC proposed taking in future. As chairman, he attended the IOC meeting in Switzerland in 1963, but immediately on his return his passport was withdrawn.
In spite of the banning, however, sports officials have welcomed the appointment of the new chairman, Mr. Leon Adams. Mr. Adams took over the strenuous job at the weekend. In an interview with our correspondent, Mr. Adams said that he would continue from where Mr. Harris had left off.
“I have a big task ahead of me,” he said, “but I can assure all those that have stood by SAN-ROC and SASA all these years that the fight will be continued.”
The Sunday Times, Johannesburg, commented on the banning of Mr. Harris and said it was a folly.
The editorial says: “ The Minister of Justice banned the chairman of SAN-ROC. His ‘crime’ is that he favours multi-racialism in sport. The only was Mr. Vorster can ever hope to justify this action to the world is to prove to it that the Olympic Games is a Communist Rally.”
10 April, ‘NT’ subpoenaed Mr. NT Naicker, a Durban attorney and former secretary of the Natal Indian Congress who has been banned for five years and is presently under a 24-hour (weekend) house arrest, was subpoenaed early this week to appear in Ladysmith today (Thursday) at the trial of 17 non-white men charged with furthering the aims of the banned African National Congress.
The subpoena was delivered by members of the Special Branch.
17 July, Peace medal for Mandela A South African non-white has been awarded the Joliot Curie Gold Medal for Peace. The award which is made by the Algerian Peace Committee was awarded last week to Mr. Nelson Mandela who was recently sentenced to life imprisonment after the Rivonia trials.
The presentation was made by Mr. Houari Souyah, President of the Algerian Peace Committee in Algiers, to Dr Yussuf Dadoo, a former President of the SA Indian Congress and now leader of the anti-apartheid movement in Britain.
7 August, Dr Ginwala warned Several prominent Indians, among them Dr KN Ginwala, were called before the Chief Magistrate of Durban last week and warned to steer clear of politics for their own good. It is also believed that a former member of the Natal Indian Congress, who has been out of politics for many years, was also cautioned.
According to an authoritative source, letters were sent to these Indians to present themselves, individually, before the Chief Magistrate early on Monday morning. Each in turn was told by the Magistrate that they should not take part in politics.
It is learnt that similar warnings have been issued in the past and among the first group was a member of the South African Soccer Federation.
16 October, Pather loses his appeal. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal of Masilamoney Pather, 43, a Port Elizabeth doctor who had been convicted of knowingly allowing his premises to be used for a meeting of an unlawful organisation in April 1961.
However, the court reduced the term of two and a half years imprisonment to 18 months of which nine months is suspended.
Application by Pather for leave to appeal to the Appeal Court was refused.
Mr. WF Maritz appeared for the state and Mr. C Isaacson, QC, for Pather. On the bench were Mr. Justice GGA Munnik and Mr. Justice JD Cloete.
1965
29 January, Johannesburg, Fischer’s home searched
Yesterday- after a top level-police conference which planned a nation-wide search for the “most wanted man in South Africa”, Security detectives raided and searched the Fischer home in Oaklands, Johannesburg.
Mr. Fischer’s youngest daughter Ilse, was questioned at the house in the presence of a lawyer, and her fiancé, Mr. Sholto Cross, a 22-year-old university lecturer, was later taken to the Grays for questioning. He was released after an hour.
Police confiscated certain papers, including a personal letter that Mr. Fischer had left for his daughter. At least seven detectives searched the house.
5 March, Banning of Selby Msimang. Mr. Alan Paton, President of the Liberal Party in South Africa, has protested at the banning of Mr. Selby Msimang.
Mr. Paton said: “ The banning of Mr. Selby Msimang gives the lie to Mr. Vorster’s statement that he does not intend to interfere with legitimate political activity.
“Mr. Msimang has been openly employed by the Liberal Party and has served it openly. He has always stood for the advancement of his people on constitutional lines, and has always believed that all the people of South Africa should co-operate in a common society.
16 June, BICA starts classes
Dr Paul Martens of the Bantu, Indian Cultural Arts, told ‘The Leader’ that a great deal of scope is available in the field of art, because it is a social asset and an intellectual one.
Art is a contact between different races, and politics does not enter into it.
Mr. Martens said that they will be starting a professional sketch club and the well-known African artist, Eric Ngobo, will guide the students.
BICA has been in existence for 15 years, but the institute would like to get cooperation from the non-European people to make it really flourish.
Mr. Martens appeals to the Indian community to support their exhibition and concert and also to join the classes made available to them.
The art group meets on Monday afternoon and music lessons are given by Mr. Mahalingham on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons.
All classes are held at 94 Broad Street, Durban.
23 July, Journalist falls to death. A brilliant young South African journalist, Mr. Nathaniel (Nat) Nakasa (28) died in New York last week after falling seven floors from an apartment building.
Mr. Nakasa, who lived formerly at Durban’s Chesterville township, left last year for America on a “one-way exit” permit to take up a Nieman fellowship at Harvard University.
A great future had been predicted for Nakasa who started in journalism on the Durban African newspaper, ‘Ilanga Lase’. He later went to Johannesburg where he soon achieved recognition and was appointed assistant editor of “Drum” magazine.
Before his departure for the United States, he resigned from “Drum” and founded the literary magazine “Classic” which was widely acclaimed by acknowledged writers in the Republic.
27 August, Time ban on banned groom
Soon after getting married last Sunday, Mr. Thumba Pillay, a banned executive member of the Natal Indian Congress, had to leave his bride and guests and return to his flat.
He had to do so in order to comply with an order granting him permission to be present at the marriage ceremony for one hour only. His request to hold a reception was refused.
Mr. Pillay was married at the Isipingo Beach Civic Hall to Miss Dolly Singh on Sunday afternoon. Immediately after the wedding ceremony Mr. Pillay had barely time to be congratulated by the guests when he had to hurriedly leave. Special Branch men Nayager and Moodley were present to observe the conditions of the order granting permission were not broken.
Mr. Pillay received banning orders last year. He is banned from attending gatherings, confined to the magisterial district of Durban, banned from entering locations, newspaper offices and factory premises.
15 October, Johannesburg, 3 remanded Diana Schoon (22), Constantinos Gazides (28), and Ann Nicholson (24), who are charged under the Suppression of Communism Act with furthering the aims of the banned African National Congress, were remanded in custody to October 14, when they appeared before Mr. DHJ Coetzee in the Johannesburg Regional Court yesterday.
November, A special Indian Market sub-committee created to investigate health conditions at the market concludes that 43 of the 270 stalls that sell food are health hazards. They recommend that these stalls close down by 31 March 1966.
19 November, London, Aid for Fischer Funds are to be raised for the defense of Abram Fischer, the former leading Johannesburg advocate awaiting trial 8in South Africa, the, Defence and Aid Fund announced last night.
The fund, a private organisation called Fischer “this eminent QC who has defended hundreds of people arraigned on political charges in South Africa – including Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu.”
Fischer was arrested last week nearly 11 months after he jumped bail of R10, 000. He faces charges of membership of the illegal Communist Party.
26 November, Tongaat man gets banning order Mr. Iver M Chetty, who was selected to represent Tongaat Cricket Union against Merewent Cricket Union, had to withdraw from the team on Sunday when he was served with a banning order. He had played a day earlier for his side in the two-day match.
Mr. Chetty becomes the youngest Natalian to be served with a banning order. The order, which was served on him on Sunday morning at 6:00, confines him to the Inanda District for five years. He has to report every Monday morning at the Tongaat Police Station.
Mr. Chetty is 27 years old. He is presently employed as a clerk at a legal office at Verulam. He is married and has two daughters.
He matriculated at the Tongaat Indian High School in 1956, and obtained the BA degree in 1959 at Natal University. He served as an English master at the Tongaat Indian High School. He resigned to take up an appointment at the ML Sultan Technical College at Stanger. In 1963 Mr. Chetty was dismissed from the College for alleged political activities.
He then joined a firm of attorneys in Verulam as an articled clerk. He has completed examinations for the second year attorney’s admission. He was also offered a high school teaching post in Zambia. He applied for a passport in April this year but has not been granted one as yet.
1966
25 March, Death of Mrs. A Meer Mrs. A Meer, widow of Mr. I Meer, of 84 Ritson Road, Durban, passed away on Monday night, almost 48 hours after collapsing at her home. She was 53 years old.
Mrs. Meer, generally regarded as the “pillar” in the Meer family, was widely respected for her contributions in various fields, and when her husband, proprietor and editor of the “Indian Views”, fell ill, she took over the management of the press during the latter stages of his life.
According to her son, Mr. Ismail Meer, Mrs. Meer complained of not feeling well on Saturday night and collapsed. She was taken to St Aidan’s Hospital, where she failed to regain consciousness, and died on Monday night.
A large crowd attended the funeral at the Brook Street Cemetery.
Mrs. Meer leaves a large family of professional men and women – six sons and three daughters – among whom are two doctors, two lawyers, a journalist, a teacher, a dentist and university lecturer, Mrs. Fatima Meer.
In spite of Mrs. Meer’s death, the wedding of her daughter Razia, to Mr. Evrahim Goga, which is scheduled for this Sunday, will continue unaltered. There will be a simple recital of the Quram at the women’s gathering and the usual nikkah ceremony will be performed at the Mosque.
8 July, Special Section in the Leader (no headline) . The late Mr. Dhanee Bramdaw, founder-editor of “The Leader” and the South African Indian Who’s who, was the first Indian to embark on daily newspaper work in the Republic, joining “The Natal Witness” first as a contributor and then as Indian editor. For some years he was correspondent for several major South African and overseas newspapers and periodicals.
He was attached to the Sir Fazli Hussain delegation as Reuters’ special correspondent in 1931-32 and represented Reuters at several conferences and commissions. For a time he was in charge of Reuters general service in Pietermaritzburg. In 1934 he was acting editor in chief of the Africopa News Agency in Cape Town. He declined permanency in order to carry out other journalistic activities.
Author of “Out of the Stable” and special articles on Indian Affairs, he compiled the speeches of Agent-General Sastri in book form. He appeared before many select committees and commissions, including the Bedisloe Royal Commission, on the invitation of the Rhodesian Indians, which enquired into the subject of closer union of the Rhodesias and Nyasaland.
Founded “The Leader” in 1940; Died at sea on July 4, 1952, while on voyage to England.
15 July, Detainee appears in Pietermaritzburg Supreme Court Advocate MD Naidoo, who was detained under the 18- day Criminal Procedure Act early in June, made a formal appearance in the Pietermaritzburg Supreme Court last week after being held in custody for thirty-five days.
He appeared on charges under the Sabotage Act; Suppression of Communism Act; furthering the aims and objects of communism and of being a member of a proscribed organisation; for defeating the ends of justice and of being in possession of banned literature.
He is to appear again on July 15 when fuller details of the charge will be put to him, and the trial will commence on August 15.
Mr. Naidoo’s wife, Phyllis, was also recently banned under the Suppression of Communism Act. They have three young children.
Footnote: Hassim Seedat, the attorney who was detained on the same day as Naidoo, is still being detained under the 180 days law and it is not known when he will be brought before the courts.
23 September, SR Pather – not ‘RS’ Our attention has been drawn to an incorrect headline, which appeared above the report on the death of Mr. SR Pather, published in “The Leader” last week. The headline inadvertently reflected the name of Mr. RS Pather. We wish to extend to Mr. RS Pather our sincere apologies for any embarrassment or inconvenience caused.
28 September, Brutus seeks permission
The secretary of the South African sports association, Mr. Dennis Brutus, banned from attending gatherings under the Suppression of Communism Act and “gagged” in terms of the General Law Amendment Act, has sought permission from the Minister of Justice to attend the Council meeting of SASA to be held in Durban on Sunday, 7 October.
One of the main topics for discussion will be the disbandment of SASA and the formation of the South African Non-Racial Olympic Committee (SAN-Roc).
The meeting is being held in Durban as most of the organisations affiliated with SASA are based in Durban.
 
30 September, Death of Mr. Haroon Meer. Mr. Haroon Meer, eldest son of Mr. AC Meer, died suddenly on Saturday night after a heart attack. He was 39 years old.
He was buried on Sunday after Zohar prayers at the Brook Street Cemetery. A large number of people, some from as far afield as the Transvaal, were present.
Mr. Meer was a member of the Natal Indian Congress and the Durban Central Ratepayers Association. He was deeply interested in cultural activities and was a founder member of the Durban Academy of Theatre Arts that was established by Krishna Shah.
9 November, SAIC condemns dispute
“We condemn aggression of any kind anywhere,” declares a Press statement on the India-China border dispute issued by Dr GM Naicker, President of the South African Indian Congress.
Dr Naicker regrets that the Panch-Shila – the five principles of peaceful co-existence – unanimously adopted by India and China, are being flagrantly violated.
“The manner in which the border dispute is being resolved – by force of arms rather than negotiation – is certainly not in keeping with the high spirit of the Bandung Conference decisions.
“The clash of steel against steel must inevitably lead to a catastrophe that China or India cannot afford.”
Congress calls upon all states that participated in the Bandung Conference to reiterate their desire to resolve disputes among themselves by negotiation.
“We do not think the doors to talks have been closed.”
30 November,  Police raids condemned
The South African Indian Congress has condemned most vigorously the raid by the Special Branch and police on the Biennial Conference of the Transvaal Indian Congress, says a statement to the press.
The Transvaal Indian Congress met once every two years legitimately to review political matters and take decisions to implement its policy of struggle against apartheid.
“The raid can only be interpreted as a campaign of intimidation against people who fearlessly express themselves “against apartheid,” says Congress.
“The Indian people in Transvaal are daily facing the full brunt of attack under the Group areas Act and the Transvaal Indian Congress is not a banned or unlawful organisation. The people are entitled to meet and discuss problems without intimidation.”
30 November, Dr Naicker is re-elected
The Natal Indian Congress held a successful annual conference at two different sessions. At the adjourned session the Officials and Executive members were elected. Dr GM Naicker, veteran leader of the Congress, was re-elected unanimously as President of the Natal Indian Congress and Mr. NT Naicker was unanimously re-elected general-secretary. Messrs GS Naidu and SM Mayet were elected joint treasurers.
The conference at its two sessions reviewed the international and national political situation and took a number of resolutions directing the incoming executive to streamline the Congress and prepare it against fresh and renewed assaults by the present Nationalist Government.
7 December, Protest over press ban
The Natal Indian Congress has condemned the “high-handed and unjust action” of the Government in banning the weekly “New Age”.
In a statement Congress said, “We believe in the freedom of the press and we demand that this right be upheld by all. We believe that “New Age” has every right to exist and to put forward its policy in relation to the problems that face South Africa.”
“New Age” has been a consistent champion of the oppressed and freedom-loving people of South Africa. It has consistently and vigorously opposed the apartheid policies of the Government and defended and stood for the democratic rights of all peoples.
Congress called on all organisations and individuals to raise their voices in protest against this arbitrary attack on the freedom of the press.
1967
12 May, Advocates wife charged with contravening banning order
Mrs. Phyllis Ruth Vasendha Naidoo, 39-year-old wife of banned Durban advocate Mr. MD Naidoo, appeared in the Durban Regional Court this week charged with contravening an order served on her under the Suppression of Communism Act.
In terms of the order, Mrs Naidoo was banned from April 18 last year until March 31, 1971. A condition of the order is that she reports to the Durban Police every Monday.
The state alleges that on Monday February 13, this year, Mrs. Naidoo failed to report to the police.
Defending the action, Mrs. Naidoo told the court that she was writing her final law examinations during mid-February. She had studied during the whole of Sunday and was woken up just after midnight to continue her preparation for the exam.
She continued throughout the night and wrote the first exam the following morning. She returned home after the grueling exam, attended to her child who had fallen ill, and then fell asleep.
She was woken up later that evening by her husband and she continued her preparation for the examination.
After writing the next exam she returned home and fell asleep again only to be disturbed by a telephone call from a police Sergeant.
Judgement will be given on May 15.
19 May, Advocates wife found guilty. A defense that Mrs. Ruth Phylis Naidoo, 39-year-old wife of Durban advocate Mr. MD Naidoo, fell asleep on the afternoon she was supposed to report to a police station, was rejected by a Magistrate this week.
Mrs. Naidoo who was placed under restriction orders, in terms of the Suppression of Communism Act from April last year to march 1971, was sentenced to ten days imprisonment when she was convicted of failing to report to Durban Central Police Station on Monday, February 12.
In terms of the order, Mrs. Naidoo is compelled to report to the Station every Monday.
Mrs. Naidoo told the court that she had been writing law examinations and that exhaustive studies had contributed to her falling asleep. At the time, too, two of her three young children were ill, and this had been a source of concern and worry.
Special permission to write the examinations had only been granted 10 days before the first sittings and she was forced to study virtually day and night to meet her deadline.
She said that after falling asleep in the afternoon her husband woke her up at about 7pm.
Rejecting her defense, the Magistrate, Mr. D du P Geldenhys conceded that she had not willfully failed to report.
16 June, Phylis Naidoo goes to jail
Mrs. Ruth Phylis Naidoo (36) [sic], wife of Durban advocate, Mr. MD Naidoo, who recently commenced serving an imprisonment term for five years for political offences, gave herself up into police custody last week.
Mrs. Naidoo, who was placed under restriction orders a year ago in terms of the Suppression of Communism Act for a five-year period, was sentenced to 10 days imprisonment after failing to report to the Durban Central Police Station on February 12. Mrs. Naidoo has to report to the police every Monday in terms of her banning order.
At her trial Mrs. Naidoo said in her defense that she fell asleep on the afternoon she was supposed to have reported to the police.
Her defense was rejected by the Magistrate.
The three children of Advocate and Mrs. Naidoo, Sahdhan (6), Sharadh (4) and Sukhthi (1) are being cared for by relatives.
The enforced separation of mother from children, so soon after the parting of Mr. Naidoo, especially of the youngest child who is closely attached to her parents, has greatly concerned relatives and friends of the Naidoo’s.
But according to one of them, “the blow must be doubly hard on the Naidoo family”.
1968
February, The Durban Municipality decides to only close down 9 of the 43 stalls at the Indian Market that were declared health hazards during 1965.
20 February, The Durban City Council passes a recommendation from the Finance Committee that tenancies of trading at the Indian Market would not be transferred to deceased estates or to the heirs of the deceased stallholders.
26 April, The Rajab brothers open their second cinema, the Shiraz.
1969
3 January, New banning orders on Bhagwan
Further banning orders were served upon Mr. Sonny Bhagwan, former secretary of the Natal Indian Youth Congress and the South African Indian Congress, by officers of the Security Branch last week.
The original orders were to have expired on December 31, 1968. He is now banned for a further period of five years, until 1973, in terms of the Suppression of Communism Act.
The three new banning orders, signed by the Minister of Justice, Mr. PC Pelser, were served on him personally and among other conditions, restrict him to the Magisterial district of Durban, prevent him from communicating with any other banned person within the Republic, from attending any social or political gathering and from entering any Bantu location, factories, harbours or schools.
He cannot attend a university or give tuition to students or scholars. He has also to report weekly to the officer at the Durban Central Police Station between the hours of 7am and 7pm.
1971
February, A committee set up by the Durban City Council recommends that the Indian Market be moved to Chatsworth. The Durban Indian Market Stallholders Association expresses strong opposition to the recommendation.
June, The Minister of Planning announces that the Grey Street area is to be rezoned for Indian business and light industry.
1973
16 March, The Indian Market is destroyed by fire.
31 March, After negotiations between the Stallholders Association and the Durban City Council it is agreed that eviction notices will not be served to stallholders before this date.
April, The Grey Street area is proclaimed an Indian business area.
30 November, The new Indian Market is opened.
1976
4 November, The Rajab brothers, owners of the Shah Jehan Cinema, opens the Isfahan, another cinema.
1977
Kapitan’s Balcony Hotel closes.
1978
The new Indian Market id demolished to make space for a new freeway.
1980s
The Ooka brothers take over the Shiraz Cinema from the Rajab brothers.
1984
The present-day Indian Market, designed by architects J.D. Maresh and Cassim Kadwa, is built.
1990
The total restoration of the West Street Masjid, which has lasted more than two years, is complete.
1992
G.C. Kapitan Vegetarian Restaurant closes.

Last updated : 04-Oct-2016

This article was produced for South African History Online on 16-Mar-2011