Day 8: June 7 1893 Retracing Gandhi’s Footsteps

Posted by on Jul 8, 2012 in Satyagraha Tour South Africa 2019 | 0 comments

Coach transfer this morning to revisit the station in daylight.  Walk through the station and visit the bronze statue honoring Gandhi on Church Street, in the city center.

Prepare for the journey that follows Gandhi’s footsteps from Durban to Johannesburg, to the exit of the stop where he was tossed out of the train because of his color. An important moment in his history that changed the course of his life forever.  A brief stop will allow you to get a feel for what Gandhi experienced when he was expelled from the train at this location when he questioned the segregation of non-whites and whites on the journey.

Mahatma Gandhi (Bapu) first arrived in South Africa in May 1893.  He had only been in South Africa for about a week when he was asked to take the long trip from Natal to the capital of the Dutch-governed Transvaal province of South Africa for his case. It was to be a several day trip, including transportation by train and by stagecoach. When Bapu boarded the first train of his journey at the Pietermartizburg station, railroad officials told Bapu that he needed to transfer to the third-class passenger car. When Bapu, who was holding first-class passenger tickets, refused to move, a policeman came and threw him off the train.  Bapu was kicked off of the train in South Africa on June 7 1893 due to racism and where he was left shivering in the cold through the night at the station.  

The young Gandhi was unaware of the racial prejudices existing in South Africa at that time.  This was his first bitter experience of racism in South Africa and as he said later this experience transformed his life. Harsh experiences like these firmly planted the seeds of resistance in him against race discrimination.

Arun Gandhi Spioenkop


In 1899, Gandhi formed the voluntary Indian Ambulance Corp after calling on Indians who demanded full citizenship, to support the war effort.  We will continue to Spioenkop battle site where we learn about the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) and the Gandhi/Indian history.  


Gandhi Boer War 1899 in the uniform of a warrant officer of the Indian Ambulance Corps.

Capture site nelson mandela

August 5,1962, Former President Nelson Mandela was arrested in the nearby town of Howick to the north of Pietermaritzburg. The arrest marked the beginning of Nelson Mandela’s 27 years of imprisonment. We will visit the monument has been erected at the location of his arrest.  

Volksrust Old Prison

Next stop: the Volksrust Old Prison where Mohandas Gandhi was incarcerated in 1913.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner  

Lunch en-route, arrive in Johannesburg in the early evening and check into hotel.  

Accommodations: Holiday Inn Express, Sandton-Woodmead