Yusuf Dadoo Timeline: 1900 - 1909

1902

At the cessation of hostilities, Sir Alfred Milner, the former British High Commissioner and Governor of the Cape and now administrator of the two former Boer Republics, imposes a number of administrative acts that reintroduces the strict segregationist policies of the old Afrikaner Republics and harsh new immigrant measures to restrict the entry of Asiatic, both former residents and new arrivals, into the Transvaal.

1903

April 8, The Legislative Council of the Transvaal enacts Government Notice No. 356 of 1903, The Bazaar Notice.  In terms of this Notice, Indians are informed that the government is to establish separate bazaars in every town, where Indians must reside and trade; and no new licences will be granted except to carry on business in bazaars set up for this purpose.  Furthermore pre-war trading licenses of Asiatics became non-transferable.

May 6, Indians from all parts of the Colony assemble at the West End Hall, Fox Street, Johannesburg to protest against 'The Bazaar Notice'.  The meeting, presided over by Sheth Abdul Gani, of Durban, passes a resolution requesting the government to reconsider the Bazaar Notice.

Gandhi moves to the Transvaal where he forms the Transvaal British India Association which provides a platform to conduct political activity on behalf of Transvaal Indians.

June 4 , Gandhi establishes the Indian Opinion.  The newspaper becomes Gandhi's, the Transvaal Indian Congress, Natal Indian Congress and the Indian community’s principle vehicle to publicise their grievances to win over the progressive white public opinion. 

1906

August 22, The Draft Asiatic Registration Bill (later enacted as the Asiatic Registration Act), is published in the Transvaal Government Gazette. This Ordinance requires every Indian man, women and child of eight years and above, to register his or her name with the Registrar of Asiatic in order to obtain a certificate of registration to permit such adult or child to reside in the Transvaal. Effectively the certificate of registration is a 'pass' that Indians and Chinese will have to produce on demand from any public officer.

After the Bill is enacted, Gandhi forms the Passive Resistance Association to mount a campaign against the restrictive laws imposed on Indian and Chinese.

September 1, The Draft Asiatic Registration Bill is introduced, restricting the entry of Indians into the Transvaal and enforces the carrying of passes bearing fingerprints. 

September 11, At a meeting of about 3 000 Indians held at the Empire Theatre in Johannesburg, to protest against the Asiatic Registration Law, (The Black Act), a resolution, to embark upon mass action, is taken. The meeting, chaired by Abdul Gani, is regarded as the beginning of the first ever Passive Resistance Campaign in South Africa.  In the course of the campaign 3 500 Indian and Chinese people are imprisoned, 1 000 deported and two people lose their lives.

1907

March 22, The Transvaal Parliament passes the Asiatic Registration Act.  Smuts wants the registration of ten fingerprints of Indians.  Gandhi rejects this as unwarranted discrimination and humiliation.  He is determined to resist the 'Black Act'.  As a prelude to the launching of the struggle, Gandhi makes a new offer.  He would accept voluntary registration if the 1907 Registration Act is suspended, but to no avail.  He resolves to lead the first passive resistance struggle in South Africa. 

November 11,The first Passive Resister, Ram Sundar Pundit is arrested and sentenced to one month's imprisonment

November 30, By the closing date of the registration only 511 of a total population of over 13 000 register.

1908

January 1, The Transvaal Immigration Restriction Act, No. 15 of 1907, comes into force.  A mass meeting is held at the Surti Mosque in Fordsburg to protest against it

July, General Smuts reneges on the promise to repeal the Asiatic Registration Act of 1907.

August 1, The Transvaal Chinese Association joins the passive resistance campaign

August 16, The Indian community, together with a few Chinese people, meet at the grounds of the Hamidia Mosque in Central Johannesburg. The aggrieved Indians burn their passes which they were coerced into applying for.  This major act of defiance, against the political authorities, heralds the beginning of the first actual passive resistance campaign ever held in South Africa.  This event marks the very first burning of passes in South Africa and the very first steps Gandhi embarks on his journey towards the development of his philosophy of Satyagraha (Non Violence)

Mahomed Momooje Dadoo now a leading businessman in Krugersdorp actively supports the Passive Resistance Campaign.  Towards the end of the Passive Resistance Campaign, Mahomed Dadoo initiates a celebrated court case challenging the Government’s Gold Act, which prohibits Indians from residing or conducting business in mining areas.

1909

March 25, Mrs Thumbi Naidoo, Mrs Patel and Miss Sonja Schlesin (Gandhi'ss Secretary) address a meeting of Indian women at the Hamidia Society Hall to form the Indian Women's Association. The Association is the first women's political organisation to be formed in South Africa.  It played a leading role in mobilising men and women for the Passive Resistance campaign. 

September 5, During the height of the Passive Resistance campaign Yusuf Mohamed Dadoo is born to Mahomed Momoojee and Fatima Dadoo above the family's shop in Krugersdorp, Transvaal.  Yusuf is the Dadoo's first child.  

Last updated : 07-Aug-2018

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

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