Indian South Africans Timeline: 1960-1969
19 February, Dr Monty Naicker called for strength in resistance, citing the example of Patrice Lumumba of the Congo who, he told a meeting of the Queensburgh Indian Ratepayers Association 'was killed because he refused to sell his people for thirty pieces of silver.'
24 March, South African Prime Minister H F Verwoerd banned public meetings. Dr Monty Naicker responded with a statement criticising the actions of the state and calling for an end to pass laws.
30 March, The state declared a state of emergency.
1 April, Dr Monty Naicker was one of 2 000 people arrested in dawn raids. Dr Monty Naicker met I.C. Meer, Dawood Seedat, Billy Nair, Kay Moonsamy, M.P. Naicker, and many more at the Durban Central Prison, and soon his mentor and friend Chief Albert Luthuli joined them.
8 April, The African National Congress (ANC) and Pan African Congress (PAC) are outlawed.
April, New Age is banned. Countrywide, 55 of its staff members, including M.P. Naicker, were detained.
31 May, Sushila Gandhi, wife of Manilal Gandhi, and Fatima Meer organised a week-long protest comprising fasting and prayer. It irked the Security Police that during the prayer meeting a portrait of Dr Monty Naicker hung from a flagpole as he was on the run and despite their best efforts, they could not apprehend him. According to Fatima Meer this was a deliberate provocation.
September, Dr Monty Naicker, J.N. Singh, Steven Dlamini, Kay Moonsamy and Rowley Arenstein resurfaced at the beginning of September when the State of Emergency was lifted. There were reports that they had fled to neighbouring countries and even gone overseas, but all had remained in South Africa. Dr Monty Naicker and J.N. Singh disguised themselves as Muslim priests and wandered around Natal to live with friends like George Singh in Riverside, Gopalal Hurbans in Tongaat, and the Bodasings on the North Coast.
In Pietermaritzburg, Chota Motala, A.S. Chetty, Sheik Hassan, Vasu Chetty, and others organised a historic leather-workers strike. For the first time in the 34-year history of the leather industry, workers of all races went on strike together. Chota Motala, Archie Gumede and Omar Essack were imprisoned. Chetty was fired from his job. Choti Motala, the wife of Motala did not receive communication from her husband for two months. Chota was in jail with Archie Gumede, Ahmed Sader and three people from the Transkei.
18 September, Dr Monty Naicker Naicker told a meeting of the Textile Workers Union in Clairwood that 'repressing people by instilling fear into them and using force to subdue them and declaring emergencies and imprisoning people without trial is not the answer'.
24 September, Dr Naicker addressed a meeting at the YMCA convened by the Natal Indian Congress (NIC) and the South African Congress of Trade Unions (Sactu) on the pass laws. 'For years,' he said, 'the Africans have been humiliated with pass laws. They must take immediate steps to erase this slavery and humiliation.'
October, The Progressive Party suggested at the beginning of October 1960 that blacks should be given a qualified franchise. Dr Monty Naicker rejected this as inadequate in light of the granting of independence to African and Asian countries. He viewed it as nothing more than an attempt to 'soften the growing demands of the unfranchised majority of South Africa. He said, 'I associate myself completely with Chief Luthuli in expressing my disapproval of the inadequacy of the proposals.'
23 October, Dr Naicker addressed a meeting of the Cato Manor Indian Ratepayers Council, and told the large turnout that blacks were 'being robbed of everything in the name of Christianity.'
September 1960, the state of emergency immobilised a number of organisers in the crucial months leading up to November 1960, and the Centenary Committee only met in early September 1960 when the emergency was over. In the two years that had passed since it had first been set up, the apartheid regime had gone on the offensive, and so when the Committee reconvened, the NIC was determined to reinforce its commitment to opposing apartheid, and aligning itself with broader black opposition. The resignation of P.R. Pather for health reasons and his replacement by J.N. Singh as chairman increased the NIC’s influence. J.N. Singh told reporters that instead of 'grandiose' celebrations, they would focus on low-key celebrations and the establishment of a Scholarship Fund for Education. M.G. Naidoo was appointed chairman in Pietermaritzburg; Dr M.C. Meer in Stanger; Gopalal Hurbans in Tongaat; Y.S. Chinsamy in Verulam, and Dr M. Godfrey in Port Shepstone. In Ladysmith, Dr Monty Naicker delivered a keynote address at the Dharma Sabha Hall on 12 November, at an event organised by Vithal Lala and Dr A.H. Sader.
24 November, Albert Christopher passes away.
9 December, The NIC began organising what was described as 'the biggest political meeting ever held' in Durban. It was advertised for Curries Fountain on 9 December 1960. Thousands turned up to hear Dr Monty Naicker, Steven Dlamini and George Mbele but the meeting was banned at the last minute. Dr Monty Naicker issued a statement that the banning was clear evidence that the government was afraid 'of the broad will of the people.'
17 December, A conference of 200 delegates representing 50 organisations met in Durban. Dr Monty Naicker, A.M. Moolla of the NIO, Dr A.D. Lazarus of the Natal Indian Teachers' Society, Ebrahim Ebrahim of the Natal Indian Youth Congress (NIYC), Dr Alam Baboolal of the Combined Indian Ratepayers Organisation, Thumba Pillay of the SRC of the University of Natal, Alan Paton, and Professor Leo Kuper were among the speakers. M.D. Naidoo moved a motion, seconded by A.M. Moolla, calling on Indians not to serve on the Indian University Advisory Council; whites to understand 'the feelings of the Indian people and refuse to serve on the council'; teachers who 'treasure the true traditions of a University to recognise the importance of not accepting any teaching post'; and parents and students to 'explore alternate possibilities as far as possible' for university education. When it was announced that Mr Nattrass, Principal of the M.L. Sultan Technical College, and Colonel Butler Porter had agreed to serve on the Council, Dr Monty Naicker announced that if they had - the interest of the Indian people at heart, and knowing that the entire Indian community is opposed - they should resign from their positions.
February, amidst rumours that the government intended to create a Department of Indian Affairs, Dr Naicker was adamant that 'the people will not accept this fraud.'
3 March, In keeping with Dr Monty Naicker's thrust toward an alliance with the African National Congress (ANC), Professor Z.K. Matthews opened the annual conference of the NIC in Pietermaritzburg, the first following the banning of the ANC. Dr Monty Naicker welcomed him warmly as 'an international figure for whom our people have the highest esteem. 'His presence here actively demonstrates the solidarity which has been built in Afro-Indian relationships within the framework of the democratic Congress movement.
25 March, The All African People's Conference in Pietermaritzburg followed on 25 March 1961. It was advertised to start at the Edendale Community Hall but was transferred to the Arya Samaj Hall in Plessislaer when it was discovered that the Security Branch had installed tape-recording equipment at the original venue. The conference went on late into the night with a surprise appearance by Nelson Mandela, making his first public speech since 1952, because of successive banning orders. The conference resolved that if the call for a National Convention was ignored, mass demonstrations and a stay-at-home would be held on 29-31 May 1961 to protest South Africa's declaration of a Republic on 31 May. Mandela was made head of a National Action Council (NAC) to coordinate the stay away.
27 April, The NIC sought to counter government propaganda aimed at schoolchildren, such as giving children Republic Day medals. Dr Monty Naicker issued a statement that the medals and flags should be rejected because they were emblems of oppression: 'We have no cause to be happy for we have not been consulted about the proposed changes in the form of government.' Accepting the medal meant 'celebrating Salisbury Island University, Job Reservation, apartheid and the lack of the most elementary rights. Are we to celebrate Sharpeville, Cato Manor and Langa.'
11 May, At a mass meeting in Clairwood, Dr Monty Naicker appealed to 'every Indian businessman and worker, lawyer and doctor, bus driver and bus owner, market gardener and market stall holder, sportsmen and sporting organisations, men, women and youth, to rally to the decision demanding a National Convention.'
26 June, despite state harassment, around 50 percent of black workers stayed at home in Durban where Indian-owned shops were closed. There was a total boycott by black students at the University of Natal; students belonging to the Non European Unity Movement [NEUM] opposed the boycott on principle and attended lectures. Indian markets were closed, Indian cinemas cancelled shows; and 'Grey Street the main commercial hub in Durban's Indian CBD was deserted. 5:00 pm at Durban's three ‘Non-White’ bus terminals could easily have been mistaken for an ordinary Sunday afternoon,' reported M.P. Naicker. The Graphic reported that 'the atmosphere was filled with anxiety and tension. There was an almost 100 percent closure of shops in the city. Only a handful of people could be seen in Grey and Victoria streets, the hub of the Indian business area. Several large European concerns closed early. Approximately 80 percent of Indian children did not go to school.'
26 June, Dr Naicker, addressing a South African Congress of Trade Unions (Sactu) meeting at the Bantu Social Centre warned that 'there must be no Tshombes amongst us. Those who are not with us are rebels. I wish to contradict the newspapers which stated that the stayaway was a flop. If we did not succeed, what caused the government to run short of finances' Dr Monty Naicker was referring to the pro-Western Congolese politician Moise Tshombe, who declared Katanga's secession from the rest of the Congo (DRC) when it became an independent republic under Patrice Lumumba in 1960.
July 1961, M.P. Naicker recruited key cadres Ronnie Kasrils, Eric Mtshali and Curnick Ndlovu. Kasrils recalled that M.P. took him for a walk along the beachfront. He confided that ‘we were forced to answer the regime's violence with revolutionary violence. Curnick Ndlovu also said that M.P. had recruited him and other people. Eric Mtshali met M.P. and Steven Dlamini, secretary of the Textile Workers Union, at the offices of New Age, where they explained the turn to armed struggle and invited him to join.
September, Walter Sisulu visited Durban around the end of September 1961 to create an effective uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) network. M.P. Naicker and Jack Hodgson were recruited to regional commands. Walter Sisulu met with M.D. Naidoo, M.P. Naicker, Ronnie Kasrils, Billy Nair, Curnick Ndlovu, Bruno Mtolo, Solomon Mbanjwa, and Eric Mtshali in Clermont. Subsequent to this Kasrils, Nair, Curnick, Mtolo, Mbanjwa, and Eric Mtshali were appointed Regional Commanders ('controlling body'). Kasrils was liaison officer ('contact') of the Natal Regional Command, serving as a link between the Regional Command, Technical Committee and cells.
9 November, Once the government granted Chief Luthuli a visa to go to Oslo to collect his Nobel Peace Prize, Dr Monty Naicker and the NIC helped to organise a farewell for the Chief. A mass meeting to honour Chief Luthuli was held at Curries Fountain. The ground was packed to capacity as 15 000 Indians and Africans sat through a heavy downpour to celebrate the moment. According to New Age, 'scenes reminiscent of the great meetings held in Durban during the 1952 Defiance Campaign were re-enacted. Dr Monty Naicker led Mrs Nokukhanya Luthuli to the platform, which contained a huge six-by-four foot portrait of Chief Luthuli, amidst tremendous applause.' NIC vice-president Dr Nad Padayachee opened the meeting by announcing that Chief Luthuli had been refused permission to attend. A cable from Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru followed: 'I send my congratulations and good wishes to Mr Luthuli on award of the Nobel Prize to him'.
December, M.D. Naidoo resigned as vice-president of the NIC after appearing on behalf of the Greyville Indian Ratepayer's Association before the Group Areas Board.
5 December, The day of Luthuli's departure for Oslo, Norway, lunch was served at the Himalaya Hotel in Grey Street. Guests included Dr Monty Naicker and Alan Paton.
16 December, Ronnie Kasrils led the attack on the Bantu municipal office, Billy Nair on the Indian Affairs building, and Curnick Ndlovu the Coloured Affairs Department, all in Durban. Bruno Mtolo, who prepared the timing devices, had put too little chemical and the explosive charges failed to detonate to maximum effect. B.M.S. Chaitow, a chemist on the Berea and member of the Congress of Democrats (COD), would tell the court that he taught Ronnie, Bruno, Billy, and 'one other Indian' to make bombs. The 'other Indian' was Subbiah Moodley, who was in standard eight (Grade 10) when he met Billy Nair at a Congress meeting. Nair told him that there was an organisation with 'a lot of science in it' and recruited him to MK. Subbiah, who was 17 and in matric. (Grade 12) learnt to make bombs from Chaitow. Subbiah was involved in the attack on the Bantu Administration Building in Ordinance Road with Bruno and Ronnie. They spent a few nights observing the movement of the blackjacks (guards). On the night of the 16th, they prepared the bomb and placed sandbags against it. They then heard an explosion and uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) was launched in Durban.
Advocate Hassen Mall, who was on the executive of the NIC is banned in 1962.
14 January, Dr Monty Naicker addressed a meeting of the Liberal Party in Stanger, where he said that 'the ruling class must realise that denial of freedom is the cause of violence.' This was after the first MK explosions and he was signalling to the government that its policies were to blame.’
21 January, Addressing a meeting in Clermont, Durban Dr Naicker called for the immediate lifting of the ban on Luthuli and the ANC, 'to enable it to carry out its function for the liberation of the people.'
February 1962, Sunny Singh, who joined MK in February 1962, argued that the state clampdown left him with no alternative but to join the organisation.
8 February, Accompanied by a 'named communist', A. Maharchand, Dr Monty Naicker spoke under the banner of the South African Congress of Trade Unions (Sactu) at Consolidated Textiles in Jacobs, where he called on every Indian, Coloured and African to join the trade union movement and unions must in turn link up with Sactu.
1 March, Addressing a meeting of the NIC at the Andhra Hall, Clairwood, Durban, Dr Monty Naicker called on Indians to reject government-created bodies and fight for common citizenship.
April, At the African Peoples Democratic Union of Southern Africa (Apdusa) first national conference, I.B. Tabata was elected president. Natal's representation came with the election of Enver Hassim as publications officer.
6 May, Addressing the Cato Manor and District Ratepayers Association on the Group Areas Act, Dr Naicker was adamant that 'we will fight to the bitter end for Cato Manor. It will only be taken away over our dead bodies.'
19 May, Dr Naicker led a protest through West Street against the General Law Amendment Bill.
23 May, Together with A.K.M. Docrat and A. Maharchand, Dr Naicker addressed a meeting of the Progressive Party at the Durban City Hall.
1 June, Dr Monty Naicker addressed another mass meeting against the impending General Law Amendment Act at Curries Fountain, Durban. 'The Nationalists have destroyed freedom of speech and many other things. So this meeting is determined not to accept Vorster's Bill. We have no guns or Saracens but with our bare hands we can stop this. All freed countries in Africa are with us, 'he said in his message.
22 June 1962 - 21 June 1963, There were 28 MK attacks in Durban in the 12-month period from 22 June 1962 - 21 June 1963, involving, amongst others, Ebie Ebrahim, Bruno Mtolo, Steven Dlamini, Eric Mtshali, Billy Nair, Ronnie Kasrils, Sunny Singh, George Naicker, Natoo Barbenia, Riot Mkwanazi, David Perumal and Alfred Duma. Ebrahim's Durban cell included Natoo Babenia, D.V. Perumal and Sunny Singh. During the 1956 Treason Trial, M.P. was away from the New Age office for long periods, and Ebie assisted after school. He became part of the inner circle and when recruited by Kasrils, had no hesitation in joining, seeing the turn to violence as the only way to secure freedom.
26 June, Accompanied by A.K.M. Docrat, Dr Naicker addressing a meeting in Prince Edward Street accused the government of moving 'in the line of the Nazi Government'.
26 August, Dr Naicker addressed an NIC meeting at Allison Clothing Company, Durban where he again attacked the curb on freedom.
19 October, Dr Monty Naicker called for the unbanning of Helen Joseph when he addressed the Federation of South African Women (FEDSAW) saying that the only crime Helen Joseph had committed was to stand up for truth, freedom, and democracy.
1 December, Dr Naicker addressed a Sactu meeting in Clairwood, Durban where he said that all that was expected from the Nationalists was 'oppression.
14 October, The bombing of AI Kajee's office was meant to deter others from participating in apartheid structures. Ebrahim Ebrahim, Perumal, Natoo and Sunny Singh went to Kajee's office in Alice Street, Durban. Perumal and Natoo stood guard in Alice Street while Ebie and Sunny went into the passage leading to Kajee's office. As pre-arranged they met an hour later at the corner of Commercial Road and Soldiers Way. The attack, Ebrahim explained, had been aborted because they were disturbed by the night-watchman. They decided that since the explosives had been prepared, they would 'blow up a train.' They caught the 8:45 pm train to Effingham, jumped off at Churchill Station, and set off the petrol bomb near Duffs Road. The empty cabin caught on fire but there were no casualties.
29 October, Billy Nair, Ganesan 'Coetsee' Naicker and Ebie Ebrahim met at the corner of Pine Street and Cathedral Road. Coetsee, M.P Naicker's brother, 29, married, a clerk at Coronation Brick and Tile, and an Executive Member of the NIYC when he was recruited into uMkhonto by Ronnie Kasrils in June 1962. Led by Ebrahim, Billy Nair and Coetsee took a bus to Clairwood and made their way to Umhlatuzana Road. Ebie, they went to the pylons at the top of the hill to estimate how much cordtex and dynamite would be needed to blow these up . The mission was to be carried out the following evening. Ebrahim, Coetsee and Moonsamy arrived at the appointed time but Nair arrived an hour late and explained that the operation had been aborted because he could not find a car to transport the explosives. They met at the Mobeni Indian School (in Clairwood) the following evening, 1 November 1962. Nair arrived and drove them to Umhlatuzana Road. As reported in the newspapers the following morning, the mission was a success. Almost simultaneously, Kasrils blew up pylons in Sarnia, and Mtolo in New Germany. The attacks plunged Durban into darkness. Ebrahim cheekily covered the story for New Age. As the newspaper's photographer he was on the scene with the police, and his photographs were published in New Age and circulated to the world.
5 December, Kisten Moonsamy (Zed), Kisten Doorsamy (Dip) and Deva Padayachee blew up telephone cables in Umlazi. They travelled by bus to the corner of South Coast and Pendlebury Roads, carrying the bomb-making equipment in a paper carrier bag, dug holes with a chisel, prepared the bomb, ran all the way to the Navy Camp in Himalaya Road, and from there took the bus home. Their next attack was at Beacon Sweets, their place of employment. They travelled by bus around 8:00 pm, walked across a river and railway line, through the Clairwood Racecourse to the South Coast Road side of the course where the manhole was situated outside Beacon's main gate. After their arrest, Moonsamy and Doorsamy were imprisoned on Robben Island; Ragoowan Dan Kistensamy was acquitted because of lack of evidence; Deva Padayachee confessed under severe torture, but in court refused to testify against his comrades and was imprisoned in Pietermaritzburg.
9 December, The same MK cell carried out a dynamite attack on AI Kajee's office, causing an estimated £150 worth of damages. Kajee appeared in court for the prosecution when the men were caught. Ironically, he seemed to understand the frustration of the cadres. He said that while the 'extremists believed in a full loaf or no loaf we believe in taking half a loaf also.' Asked if his approach was succeeding, Kajee, to the astonishment of the court, replied, 'I personally can say it is not successful as far as I am concerned.' Most Indians felt that they 'would not get a thing and frustration was building up. The majority of Indians did not have his optimistic outlook, he said, because they were constantly foiled. Anger was reaching boiling point, Kajee warned, and you do feel the treatment is not right. It is very unfair and unjust
31 December, Dr Monty Naicker and Marie lived at 189 Percy Osborne Road in Morningside, one of the first areas to be declared for the exclusive use of the white group. They were given notice to quit their home by this date.
M.D. Naidoo, a powerful influence on a generation of young activists in the Congress movement, faced persistent state repression. He was banned in 1963, detained under the 90-Day Law from September to November 1964, and charged under the Suppression of Communism Act on 25 November 1964 (the charges were dropped in February 1965).
1 January, Thumba Pillay, the youngest member of the NIC executive, was served with his first five-year banning order. It was extended for another five years in 1968.
11 January, the police visited Dr Monty Naicker and his wife, Marie Naicker, and found that as Indians they wrongfully and unlawfully without the authority of a permit to occupied their premises. They were charged. The case was set for 26 April 1963. Dr Monty Naicker refused to apply for a permit to live in a 'white' area. He said that as a follower of Gandhi, he would 'rather go to prison than go against a principle for which [I] have fought so long at great sacrifice and that he was 'too much of an old campaigner to be intimidated.'
7 August, Sunny Singh was arrested at the Blue Moon tea-room, in Durban, where he worked. The police searched his house and took away his reading materials and press cuttings of Chief Albert Luthuli and Nelson Mandela. He was arrested under the 90-day law. Singh was kept in solitary confinement, interrogated, and beaten by the police.
21 October, Natoo Barbenia was released from 90-day detention and charged under the Sabotage Act.
Ebrahim Ismail Ebrahim (Ebie), Alfred Duma, Girja 'Sunny' Singh, Shadrack Mapumulo, Natvarlal Babenia, Bernard Nkosi, Billy Nair, Zakela Mdhlalose, Kisten Moonsamy, Matthews Mayiwa, George Naicker, Joshua Zulu, Kisten Doorsamy, David Mkize, Curnick Ndlovu, David Ndwonde, Ragoowan Kistensamy, Siva Pillay and Riot Mkwanzi were formally charged under the June 1962 Sabotage Act. They were accused of acting in common purpose to obtain explosives to violently damage the property of other persons and the State, and were charged with carrying out attacks using petrol bombs, pipe bombs, dynamite, and cutting instruments. Billy Nair and Curnick Ndlovu were additionally charged with being part of the Regional Command, and Babenia of being part of the Technical Committee.
20 January, Dawood Seedat was the most vociferous critic of the war. Apart from articles in The Call and The Guardian, he also published a booklet, Don't Support the War. A secret memorandum of the Department of Justice dated 20 January 1964 recorded that this pamphlet, coupled with the agitation of Seedat had a marked deterrent effect upon the recruiting of Indians for the war at the time. Dawood and his wife Fatima were banned for five years in January 1964.
Zuleika Christopher and Enver Hassim were banned in 1964 and subsequently detained under the 90-Day law. In 1966, they were charged with breaching their banning orders and given suspended sentences. The Provincial Administration dismissed Zuleika Christopher from her position as Senior Medical Officer, which she successfully challenged in the Supreme Court. Enver Hassim was detained under the 180-Day law for allegedly forging passports for exiles. They were also subject to routine persecution: surveillance, telephone tapping, threatening calls and police raids, euphemistically called 'visits'. Exile was difficult, but was the only way for them, in Kader Hassim's words, 'to escape the wrath of fascism those who remained viewed such departures as fighters who, after being wounded, tactically take themselves away from the battlefield.' Zuleika Christopher died in exile in 1992.
28 February, Sentence was handed down on the first MK operatives: Ebrahim Ebrahim was imprisoned for 15 years; Billy Nair 20 years; Natoo Babenia, 16 years; Sunny Singh 10 years; Kisten Moonsamy 14 years; George Naicker 14 years; Kisten Doorsamy 12 years; Siva Pillay 8 years; Curnick Ndlovu 20 years; Alfred Duma 10 years; Shadrack Ndlovu 13 years; David Nkosi 5 years; David Ndawonde 8 years and Matthews Meyiya, 8 years.
15 April, Three security policemen arrived at Springfield Teacher Training College, Asherville, Durban and whisked Subbiah Moodley away to his flat. Subbiah was interrogated at Wentworth Police Station. He was denied access to a lawyer and viciously assaulted. Subbiah complained to a visiting magistrate who replied that he was 'not there to entertain frivolous excuses.' Despite refusing to give information, his game was up when Bruno Mtolo identified him. Subbiah was sentenced to three years imprisonment, two of which were suspended because he was a youth at the time of the bombings. He was taken to Leeukop Prison and put into 'D Seksie' with rapists and murderers. Leeukop was for short-term political prisoners only, and Subbiah was sent to Kroonstad in the Free State. When he got there, however, the warder told him in Afrikaans, 'Hey, we do not keep 'charras' (Indians) here' and he was returned to Leeukop where he spent the year. At the end of the year he was given a third-class rail warrant and made his way to Durban. The Security Police continued to hound him.
George Ponnen was arrested in 1964 under the 90-Day law, was released and rearrested for a further 90 days. In all, he served 114 days without being charged. He was summoned to give evidence against Leonard Mdingi. He refused, and was imprisoned for 12 months. He appealed and skipped the country in May 1965 before the appeal could be heard. He was joined by Vera and their daughters in 1967. From Lobatse, they went to Zambia, and in 1975 joined their daughters Indira and Marsha in Canada.
22 June, Kader Hassim was under constant surveillance and placed under house arrest in Pietermaritzburg, shortly after he and his wife Nina had their first child. House arrest confined Kader to his home from 6:00 pm to 6:00 am on weekdays and from 2:00 pm on Saturday to Monday morning.
6 July, Babla Saloojee, a 32-year-old attorney's clerk, was detained two years into his marriage to Rokaya. Rokaya was only allowed 10 minute visits, and during one of these, she noticed that he had a makeshift bandage on his head. When she queried, the police terminated the visit without allowing her to speak to Babla.
9 September, Rokaya Saloojee, Babla Salojee's wife, was informed that he was in hospital after 'falling' from the sixth floor of the police headquarters, Johannesburg, while being interrogated.
November, At the end of November 1964, George Ponnen, M.D. Naidoo, Kay Moonsamy, Steve Naidoo, Dr Randeree, M.P. Naicker, Eric Singh, and several others were charged under the Suppression of Communism Act. The signs were ominous, but then the group got lucky they were granted bail. Faced with the possibility of lengthy jail sentences, many chose to flee into exile. Dr Randeree left around the end of January 1965, Jack Govender and M.P. Naicker over Easter, and Kay Moonsamy, George Ponnen and others in May 1965 and June 1965
With activists who had agreed to testify unavailable, it was difficult for the state to prosecute those who remained.
Three years after Thumba Pillay, NIC Executive Committee member was banned; he married in 1965 and had to get permission from the State to have a wedding. The state allowed him a fixed number of guests. He had to give them a list of all the people he invited and the police were present at his wedding. They allowed him one hour at his wedding and refused him permission to attend his own wedding reception
February, Dr A. I. Limbada was banned for five years. Dr Limbada was one of the first persons banned in Natal under the Suppression of Communism Act.
March/April, On Easter Friday 1965, MP Naicker told his wife, Saro, that he was going to play tennis and did not return. The following day she got a call, from him informing her that he was in Lobatse, Bechunaland (Botswana). Saro followed two years later. Her application for a passport was refused and she left on an exit permit to London. M.P. made his way to Tanzania and in May 1966 was instructed to go to London where he worked alongside Dr Yusuf Dadoo, Joe Slovo, Rusty Bernstein, and Brian Bunting. Oliver Tambo appointed him editor of Sechaba (The Nation), which was launched in January 1967 as the mouthpiece of the African National Congress (ANC) in exile.
29 June, Kay Moonsamy went into exile in Botswana [Bechuanaland]. He declared at the police station that he was a political exile. He could not leave Lobatse or attend gatherings, and had to report to the police weekly. He shared a house with Moulvi Cachalia, M.P., Ponnen, Steve (Nanda) Naidoo, and Eric Singh.
8 November, Dr Monty Naicker was given a three-month suspended sentence provided he vacated his Percy Osborne Road premises by 8 February 1966. He refused and was literally thrown out on 11 February 1966. He moved into the Island View Hotel in Isipingo. The vindictiveness of the authorities was shown when they charged him for not formally notifying the police of his new address and he was handed a one-year prison sentence in August 1966. Except for four days, the sentence was suspended for three years. Dr Naicker appealed in November 1966 before Judge President Justice Milne on the grounds that he had not taken up 'residence' at the hotel as understood in the English language. The court dismissed his appeal and he spent four days over Christmas in prison.
Karrim Essack, intellectual mentor of many in the Unity Movement (NEUM), fled after being granted bail in 1966
2 June, MD Naidoo (M.D.) was charged with being a member of an unlawful organisation, the Communist Party of South Africa (CPSA), recruiting and providing logistical support to uMkhonto weSizwe (MK); obstructing the course of justice by assisting George Ponnen, Kay Moonsamy, Basil Leach, and Eric Singh escape into exile during May and June 1965, and being in possession of banned material, Che Guevara's Guerilla Warfare. M.D. was arrested, four days after the birth of his daughter Sukthi. When the prosecutor tried to influence M.D. to act as a state witness in return for leniency, he bristled with indignation.
5 December, The trial against M.D. Naidoo began in September and sentence was handed down on 5 December. He was sentenced to five years imprisonment which he served on Robben Island. Unfortunately for M.D., 'comrades' like Jack Govender, J.T. Matseke, H.N. Mgobosi and Jethro Ndlovu testified against him. Hassim Seedat, N.T. Naicker, and Poomoney Moodley gave evidence in M.D.'s defence but to no avail. Phyllis Naidoo's banning for five years in 1966 (extended by a further five years in 1971) coincided with her husband M.D. Naidoo's imprisonment on Robben Island and the birth of their daugher Sukthi.
May, Kader Hassim's house arrest and banning was extended for a further five years.