Faizel Patel – 26/04/2021
Former Gauteng Roads and Transport MEC Dr Ismail Vadi says the legacy of anti-apartheid stalwarts are being forgotten more than 27 years after the struggle of democracy in South Africa.
Dr. Vadi was speaking to Radio Islam about his latest book, lifting the lid on political activism, but more especially the story of an Indian family who struggled against colonialism and apartheid.
The book: ‘Thambi Naidoo and Family: Struggle for a Non-racial South Africa’ was launched at the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation at Gandhi Hall in Lenasia.
In the book, Dr. Vadi traces the anti-apartheid activism of the family from the early 1900s right up to the present generation.
Some in the family were staunch Gandhian passivists; others took up the armed struggle against apartheid.
For their beliefs, members of the Naidoo family suffered imprisonment, detention and torture while had to go into exile and joined the African National Congress (ANC) abroad.
Dr Vadi says a significant number of Indian people including those from Lenasia were involved in the armed struggle.
“You had Issu Chiba who served twenty years on Robben Island. He was a commander in uMkhonto we Sizwe. We Reggie Vandeya who served ten years. We had Shirish Nanabhai who served ten years and of course Indres Naidoo who comes from this particular family who served ten years. You’ve had Ahmed Kathrada who served twenty six years on Robben Island for his involvement in uMkhonto we Sizwe, so a very significant contribution.”
He says sadly the legacy of stalwarts during the armed struggle is being forgotten.
“The values that they stood for, the principles that they fought for even in today’s times. If you look at the ANC, sometimes we begin to feel that members of the ANC or some leaders of the ANC are now moving astray and that means that the struggle will continue, people will have to introduce collective measures.”
Dr Vadi says the legacy of the Naidoo family reminds us of almost one hundred and twenty years of struggle and what they stood for.
Listen to the interview with Dr. Ismail Vadi