Appeal For United Front, July 1948

[A joint appeal to all "suppressed" people in South Africa, whether European or Non-European, to form a United Front to fight for full democratic rights, was made by Dr. Yusuf Dadoo and Dr. G. M. Naicker, respectively Presidents of the Transvaal Indian Congress and the Natal Indian Congress, at a function in Cape Town in July 1948.]

Dr. Dadoo said Indians all over the Union were now faced with the question of what to do next. The Passive Resistance Movement had been temporarily suspended and a new Government was in power.

Both he and Dr. Naicker had just been released from gaol and they were both convinced that the present Nationalist regime would take even more drastic steps to suppress not only the Indians but all Non-Europeans.

By their courageous struggle the Indians had already nullified the effect of the Asiatic Land Tenure and Indian Representation Act. The Passive Resistance Movement had opened the eyes of other oppressed peoples as to what could be achieved by resisting the onslaught on human rights.

Furthermore, the Indians in South Africa had won the support of freedom-loving people outside South Africa and at the next session of the United Nations Organisation stronger steps than ever would be taken to fight their case.

The Nationalists` apartheid policy for the Indians was the logical outcome of the United Party's segregation programme but because the leaders of the United Party did not make their intentions clear, the electorate fell for apartheid which, to the followers of Dr. Malan, meant bigger and cheaper labour reservoirs.

Cape Indians

Indian leaders also expected the Nationalist Government soon to make an attempt to introduce the Ghetto Act in the Cape. For that reason Cape Indians must stand together to resist with all their power.

The move of the new Minister of Defence to build up a Platteland Army was just another step, under the pretext of a so-called Communist threat, to suppress Non-Europeans even more.

The Coloured people could expect measures to deprive them of their right to have their names on the common voters' rolls and if the members of the Coloured Advisory Council realised what was happening, they must resign and lead their people against the threat to their freedom. Similar threats were hanging over the heads of the African people.

Task of Non-Europeans

In view of all these dangers for Non-Europeans, said Dr. Dadoo, there was only one course - to fight with the utmost determination, but also with responsibility, until white South Africa realised that the Non-Europeans would never give in until they were given full freedom.

"We Indians," he said, "have only South Africa as a home and nobody is going to throw us out.We want to live here and help to build up our homeland, but we cannot live without liberty."

"We look forward with confidence, for although we know that many hardships and sacrifices await us, we also know that history is on our side and that in the end we must achieve our object."

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

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