Yusuf Dadoo Timeline: 1910 - 1919

1910

February 26, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi supports the African Peoples’ Organisation (APO) resolution to declare the day of arrival of the Prince of Wales as a day of mourning in protest against the disenfranchisement of the Coloured people

May 31, The Union of South Africa is formed on the 31st May 1910. Joseph Royeppen, a Cambridge University graduate and a barrister and his companions are imprisoned for their opposition to legislation that prevents Indians from entering the Transvaal.  Many other Passive Resisters continue to court arrest

1911

March 15, Natal, Transvaal and Cape Indians submit a petition against Smuts’ new Immigration Restriction Bill

1913

January 11, Wives and minor children of domiciled Indians are refused admission into the Transvaal. 

September 12, The Transvaal British Indian Association, under the Chairmanship of Ahmed Mohamed Cachalia addresses a letter, to Minister of the Interior, regarding the Government’s unwillingness to reconsider various discriminatory legislative issues pertaining to the Indian community. He informs the Minister that if these laws are not repelled then the community has no alternative but to revive the passive resistance campaign.

September 15, Kasturbai Gandhi leads the first batch of passive resisters from Durban, twelve men and four women, to cross the Transvaal border by train.  The police arrest these resisters.  They are imprisoned in Pietermaritzburg 

October 2, A dozen Indian women leave Johannesburg to cross the Free State border

A group of passive resisters from Phoenix, Natal enter the Transvaal, where they refuse to produce identification documents but express the wish to be arrested

6 November, Indian miners directly affected by the £3 tax march from Charlestown across the border into Transvaal, with 2 037 men, 127 women and 57 children participating

1914

January 5, Harbat Singh, a 70-year-old passive resister, dies of pneumonia in Volksrust Goal

February 22, Valliamma R. Munusamy Mudaliar dies of illness after her imprisonment in the passive resistance struggle

June 30, After concluding the Gandhi – Smuts Agreement, Gandhi announces his decision to leave South Africa, via London, to return to India.

The main points of negotiation of the Agreement is centred on the recognition of Indians’ vested rights, discharge certificates for indentured Indians, the admission from India of wives and children, the Cape entry issue for Indians, exoneration for bona fide Passive Resisters and other thorny issues related to the Indian community.

July 15, Prior to his departure, Gandhi attended the ceremonial unveiling of memorial tablets by Mrs Phillips, the wife of Reverend Charles Phillips.  The tablets are erected in honour of Nagappen and Valliamma R. Munusamy Mudaliar, who lost their lives in the passive resistance campaign, at the Braamfontein Cemetery, Johannesburg. 

1915

Yusuf Mohamed Dadoo, six years old, begins his education.  He attends a Coloured school in Krugersdorp that allows Indian boys to study. In terms of Transvaal Education legislation Indian children are classified Coloured.  After completing his Standard 2 (Grade 4), Dadoo travels twenty miles daily to the newly established Government Indian School in Newtown, Johannesburg. In the afternoon Dadoo attends Madressa.

1917 – 1918

Just prior to the end of World War I, Mahomed Dadoo takes his family on holiday to Gujarat, India.  Dadoo recollects the blackouts at night and the fear of German submarines roaming the Indian Ocean.  Of his year long vacation, in India, he only remembers experiencing the monsoon and having to attend madressa for religious instruction.  The young Dadoo contracts malaria in India.  Upon his return to South Africa, he is confined to bed for almost six months. 

The family returns to South Africa because of a court case that his father is involved against the Krugersdorp Municipality.  The Municipality claimed that the company his father had formed is illegal in terms of the law, as Krugersdorp is a “Gold area”.

1919

January 26 – 30, At the initiative of the Cape British Indian Council a meeting of the Transvaal and Natal Indian Congress is held to discuss discriminatory laws against the Indian Community. This meeting is the forerunner, to the formal establishment of the South African Indian Congress (SAIC) in 1923.

May 1, The Union’s House of Assembly sets up a Select Committee, to look into Indians acquiring property in Transvaal through mortgages and shareholding in private companies. The Select Committee recommends that no new business should be allowed.  Asiatics could no longer acquire land through companies though they were still able to acquire land through nominees.  A register was to be compiled of existing licences and businesses owned by Indians.

May 12, At a mass meeting, the Transvaal British India Association organises opposition to the Asiatic Transvaal (Land and Trading) Amendment (Transvaal) Bill.  Transvaal Indians are prohibited from owning shares in limited companies.  Indian leaders in the Transvaal sign a covenant, pledging civil resistance to this Bill. 

August 3, The Asiatic Transvaal Land and Trading (Transvaal) Amendment Act, No. 37 of 1919, is promulgated to prevent Indians from residing or trading in areas perceived to be the preserve of Whites.

August 3-6, The Transvaal British India Association in Johannesburg convenes a conference, to create a national body to deal with threats to the rights of Indians.  The conference decided to resort to civil resistance unless full civic rights were granted to Indian people.

September 4-5, Deep-seated resentment against Indians led to the formation of the Anti-Asiatic League.  The Chairman is LJ Philips, an attorney from Krugersdorp.  Sir Abe Bailey is the first President of the South African League whose aim is the expropriation of all immovable property held by Indians and the elimination of Indians residing and trading in the Transvaal.

In 1919, Dadoo spends his school holidays at an uncle’s home in Middelburg.  Whilst here, he attends a public meeting that Clements Kadalie, the founder of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU), addresses.   

 

 

Last updated : 07-Aug-2018

This article was produced by South African History Online on 03-Apr-2011