Appendix 1: Freedom Fighters On The March: A Message From Dr. Y. M. Dadoo To The Indian People

A message from Dr. Y. M. Dadoo to the Indian people

Brothers and Sisters

The struggle against apartheid and for Freedom has entered a newdecisive phase. Freedom-fighters, combat units, well-trained andwell-armed, are already giving battle to the oppressors with greatdaring, skill and determination in Rhodesia. Contrary to local pressreports, they are dealing severe blows to the fascist forces of IanSmith and Vorster. Soon they will be fighting the enemy on SouthAfrican soil.

"WE ARE AT WAR" says the leaflet of the African NationalCongress which was widely distributed in South Africa recently. Ina rousing CALL TO REVOLUTION which appears in the January 1968 issueof Sechaba, official organ of the ANC, Oliver Tambo (the Acting President-General)states that "as our forces drive deeper into the south, we haveno doubt that they will be joined not by some, but by the whole Africannation; by the oppressed minorities, the Indian and Coloured people;and by an increasing number of White democrats."

Period of Revolutionary Upheavals

Our country, South Africa, faces a period of ever-increasing revolutionaryupheavals. Life can no longer go on in the same old way. The newdevelopments call for a reappraisal of the role and the task in thecoming struggle of each sector of the oppressed people, African,Indian and Coloured.

We Have Suffered Enough

Our community, like the African and the Coloured people, has hadenough of racial discrimination, apartheid and White Supremacy.

The GROUP AREAS ACT is taking a heavy toll; daily more and morefamilies are being driven out from their hearth and home and thrownonto the garbage heap of Indian group areas; we are being robbedof our means of livelihood; the standard of education of our childrenis being lowered. Unemployment is rife. Once the Government succeedsin completely driving our people into Ghettos, all kinds of restrictionswill be applied preventing our people from going out of the areasto seek work, carry out professional duties or to trade; preventnon-Indians from coming into our areas without permission. We shallbe cooped up in a lot of hovels; cut off completely from the mainstreamof the life, economy and culture of the country.

We Have a Proud Record of Struggle

From the days of Gandhiji the Indian people have resolutely andbravely offered resistance to racial discrimination and segregation.The campaigns of passive resistance and the Great March of 1913 conductedunder the leadership of Gandhiji are unforgettable and historic landmarksin the history of our people. The Passive Resistance Campaign of1946 against the Ghetto Act inspired our people and prepared themfor the struggles ahead. Since the advent of the Nationalist Governmentin 1948 our people have marched hand-in-hand with the African peopleunder the leadership of the African National Congress, playing ourpart in stay-at-homes, hartals, the great Defiance Campaign of 1952and participating in the many demonstrations against apartheid tyranny.Our people were participants in the Congress of the People whichformulated the historic FREEDOM CHARTER which guarantees freedomand democracy to all South Africans.

To the call of the Umkhonto We Sizwe, our militant youth respondedwithout hesitation and with determination; Babla Saloojee gave hislife; and many of our brave activists like Billy Nair, Chiba, Maharaj,Indres Naidoo, Shirish Nanabhai, Reggie Vandeyar, George Naicker,Ebrahim Ismail, together with the African, Coloured and white comrades-in-armsare at this very moment serving long terms of imprisonment.

Ahmed Kathrada, together with the outstanding leaders of our country,Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Abram Fischer, Govan Mbeki, DennisGoldberg and others, is condemned to life imprisonment.

Nana Sita, the veteran leader of our movement, men like MohamedBhana and those brave students who valiantly refused to participatein the Republic celebrations, continue to hold aloft with self-sacrificingcourage the banner of resistance.

What Now?

The terror let loose by the Government through its Special Branchhas made it impossible for our national organisation, the South AfricanIndian Congress, and its constituent bodies, to function legally.Every one of the office-bearers and prominent committee members hasbeen banned, imprisoned or driven into exile. Every form of intimidationand blackmail is used by the Government and the Special Branch tosilence criticisms of apartheid. There has arisen amongst our peoplea small minority of traitors, stooges and puppets who speak in thevoice of their masters - Vorster and Trollip. Some of them have beencajoled, bribed or intimidated by the authorities into serving onthe bogus government-appointed South African Indian Council.

Our people should have no illusion about the South African Indian Council. Remember the Judenraten (Jewish Councils) set up by theNazis at the time of Hitler! The "representatives" of theJewish community on these councils were used merely as instrumentsto facilitate the sending of hundreds of thousands of the Jewishpeople into concentration camps and the gas chambers.

However, all the efforts of the Nationalist Government and itsstooges will fail. Our people can never submit to the ruination andindignity imposed by white supremacy. Brave spirits will speak outand organise and fight for liberty.

Vorster Cannot Win

As the freedom-fighters gather strength the sound of their gunswill be heard throughout the land.

All Vorster's arms and all Vorster's men will not be able to stopthe onward march of the people to freedom. The struggle may be grimand protracted but it will not cease until apartheid has been overthrownand full and equal rights and opportunities ensured to all the citizens,irrespective of race, colour or creed - until the Freedom Charteris translated into reality.

Our Tasks

History calls upon us to play our full part in the new phase ofthe struggle:

1. Heed the call of the ANC - ally yourselves with the freedom-fighters- help them in every possible way! Make their path easy!

2. Reject the government-managed South African Indian Council!

3. Maintain and intensify resistance against the Group Areas Actand against every aspect of apartheid!

4. Youth! Your place is in the forefront of the struggle. Becomefreedom-fighters! Carry this message far and wide among our people.Help mobilise full support for the freedom-fighters in town and country!We shall win!

Amandla Ngawethu! Jana Shakti!

Matla Ke A Rona!

Power to the people!

Yusuf Mohamed Dadoo South Africa's Freedom Struggle: Statements, Speeches and Articles including Correspondence with Mahatma Gandhi

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