Pretoria Highlights

Posted by on Aug 25, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

In 1894 Gandhi helped found the Natal Indian Congress, to unify local Indians into a political force, and became the first secretary.  In September of the same year, Gandhi became the first Indian to be enrolled as an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Natal.  Gandhi felt firsthand what it was like to be discriminated upon, he struggled to find a hotel in Johannesburg and the Grand National Hotel would not allow him to eat in hotel dining room.  The Central Baptist Church turned Gandhi away and would not let him enter a white church.

Natal Indian Congress SA

At the meeting held in the Empire Theater in Johannesburg, Gandhi introduced the idea of Satyagraha resistance through non-cooperative, non-violent action and sacrifice. Gandhi coined the word Satyagraha from “sat” meaning truth and “agraha” meaning force. Satyagraha is commonly taken to mean passive resistance, a term that Gandhi did not like. Satyagraha is not passive. It means Truth-Force, i.e. the power of moral truth to bring about change through resistance.

Voortrekker Monument Voortrekker Monument:  It is a unique Monument which commemorates the Pioneer history of Southern Africa and of the Afrikaner and is situated in a beautiful setting. Today it is the most visited heritage site of its kind in Gauteng and one of the top ten cultural historical visitor attractions in the country.

Gandhi’s concept of non-violence did not include passivity or cowardice in the face of violence or the abdication of one’s duty. Gandhi offered his services freely during the Anglo-Boer War of 1899. He formed an Indian Volunteer Ambulance Corps of 1400 men, many of whom were traders and professionals. They saw to the needs of the sick and wounded and often worked in the thick of battle in areas such as Spion Kop, Colenso and Ladysmith. For their efforts, members of the Corps were decorated with medals.

Close by is Freedom Park which pays tribute to all deserving South Africans who played a meaningful role in shaping the nation.

Jan Smuts Irene Home.  Jan Smuts along with J.B.M. Hertzog, were the architects of implementing segregation in South Africa.  

Bapu was on his way to Pretoria when he was tossed out of the train at Pietermaritzburg Station.  Pretoria is one hour outside of Johannesburg.

Bapu went to Pretoria because he wanted to change the segregation laws using a peaceful protest.  He organized his first successful peaceful protest here because he did not break any laws.

Bantu Stephen Biko died in police custody September 12, 1977 in Pretoria, South Africa.  On September 11, 1977 Biko was transported to Pretoria central prison, a twelve-hour journey, naked, without medical escort, in the back of a police Land Rover.  He died on the floor of an empty cell in Pretoria Central Prison.  South Africa was robbed of one of its foremost political thinkers. 

Mariammen’ Temple in Marabastad, one of the few examples of Indian Hindu, temple architecture in South Africa, this iconic landmark is also a national monument and is the oldest temple in Pretoria.