Rajmohan Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi has told a gathering of South African Indians here that they should be indebted to their forebears for having shaped the thinking of his grandfather during his stay in the capital.
Gandhi, who was speaking as the guest of the Tamil Federation of Gauteng North Region said, the Father of the Nation's thinking had been guided by locals when he stayed among the native Indian businessmen in the then thriving Prinsloo Street in Central Pretoria while he handled cases as a young lawyer.
"You should be as thankful to your forebears as we are for implementing (Gandhi's) Satyagraha plans which eventually gave us in India and then you in South Africa the freedom that we have today," Gandhi said.
"Pretoria played an important role in my grandfather's life as it was here that he spent months before becoming a politician, thinking, reading and wandering about" he said.
Gandhi and his wife Usha also visited the historic Voortekker Monument, once off limits to all but members of the ruling white community, as the guests of Jan Bosman, leader of the Afrikaner Bond, which was also once the most feared organisation in the apartheid era as it dictated almost everything the government did.
Gandhi, who is a research professor at the University of Illinois, is touring South Africa with a group of young international students to create awareness for the organisation, Initiatives for Change, of which he is the President.
The body promotes human rights and equality.