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Right activists awarded in SA

Two Indian-origin anti-apartheid activists in South Africa were honoured at the 12th Freedom Day celebrations.

india Updated: Apr 28, 2006 16:35 IST

Two Indian-origin anti-apartheid activists in South Africa were honoured during the country's 12th Freedom Day celebrations on Thursday.

Valliamma Munusamy Mudliar, who died at the early age of 17 after participating in Mahatma Gandhi's passive resistance campaigns in 1914 and Tambi Naidoo, who worked with the Mahatma from 1907-1914 were honoured as part of the Freedom Day celebrations in the township of Phoenix, north of Durban.

Two books on the lives of Valiamma and Naidoo were also released at a special ceremony to mark the occasion.

The author of the book on Valiamma, Yana Pillay, said he authored the book on Valiamma after requests from India to chronicle the life of the anti-apartheid activist.

He said that Valiamma had participated in a march from Johannesburg to Durban in 1913 to protest against the Poll Tax that was introduced against Indians. Kasturba Gandhi, wife of the Mahatma, was among those who participated in the march.

Pillay said Tambi Naidoo was another stalwart who was associated with Gandhiji from 1907-1914 and had served 14 prison sentences.

"Gandhi wrote about him in July 1908 - 'There are few Indians who can touch Naidoo for courage. He is so poor that he lives from hand to mouth. I wish the Indian community would produce more heroes like'."

Tambi Naidoo and HO Ally were the driving forces behind the formation of the Natal Indian Congress in 1893.

The Deputy Minister of Communications Radhakrishna Padaychee and the Deputy Mayor of Durban Logie Naidoo launched the books on Valiamma and Naidoo.

First Published: Apr 28, 2006 16:35 IST