28 June 1894
On 28 June 1894 the Natal Legislature planned to introduce the Indian Franchise Bill intended for disenfranchising Indians. On the previous day (27 June 1894) Indian and civil rights fighter, Mahatma Gandhi,sent telegrams to the Speaker of the Natal Legislative Assembly, Prime Minister Robinson, and Attorney-General Escombe. In his telegrams Ghandi requested the postponement of consideration of Franchise Law Amendment Bill until an Indian petition was presented. Discussion of the Bill was deferred by two days.  Subsequently, Gandhi submitted a petition signed by 500 Indians to the Legislative Assembly, opposing the Bill and asking for a Commission of Enquiry. Few days later, Gandhi led a deputation to the Natal Governor and urged him not to approve the Franchise Bill which was in its third reading in the Assembly.  A week later he petitioned the Governor, requesting postponement for dispatching the Bill to the Imperial Government for Royal assent, pending Indian petition.  On 17 July 1894 a lengthy mass petition signed by 10 000 Indians was submitted to the Natal Government – the petition was addressed to Lord Ripon, Secretary of State for Colonies.

Anon, (n.d.), ‘Yusuf Dadoo’, from South African History Online, [online] Available at www.sahistory.org.za [Accessed 26 May 2011]|Krugel A.L. (2010), ‘History and Struggle of the Indian Population of KwaZulu Natal,’ from Suete 101, [online] Available at www.suite101.com [Accessed 26 May 2011]