Unisa Press

Sisters in the struggle Vol 2

Women of Indian Origin in South Africa's Liberation Struggle 1900–1994 VOLUME 2: 1950s–1960s

Author: Kalpana Hiralal
Published: October 21, 2022
ISBN: 9781776150762
Number of pages: 251
This book is not available in electronic format

About the book

Women of all races, including those of Indian descent, had been victims of patriarchy, chauvinism and misogyny since time immemorial. Traditional and religious beliefs perpetrated these injustices. Some men also believed that women were not eligible to participate in the resistance against apartheid nor be members of political parties, and this perception only changed in the 1940s. The involvement of Indian women in the liberation struggle has scant representation in literature.

‘Sisters in the struggle’: Women of Indian Origin in South Africa’s Liberation Struggle 1900–1994 unveils an unchartered historical terrain, highlighting the contributions of Indian women towards nonracialism and equality and their experiences within diverse political parties; therefore, shifting the post-apartheid liberation stories which have been dominated by the journey of the ANC to other political organisations who collectively played a significant role in South Africa’s road to democracy.

Indians are perceived by some as oppressors and exploiters of black labour than as active participants in the struggle against apartheid. In this book, Hiralal presents a refreshing perspective of Indians, particularly women, as contributors and activists in the struggle. The book elucidates that the struggle against apartheid was a collective endeavour among the oppressed races and not a one-sided endeavour by the ANC. Therefore, this book presents a fresh perspective to the history of South Africa in which the participation of Indian women against apartheid and colonialism are examined within a gender and political framework.

Table of content

Foreword vii

‘I am Woman: Poem on “The South African Indian Woman” ix

Acknowledgements xiii

Figures xiv

Abbreviations xxiii


Resistance to Apartheid 1950s–1960s

Summary 1

19. Sushila Mashruwala Gandhi 35

20. Manibhen Nana Sita 42

21. Jainub (Jane) Gool Tabata 51

22. Amina Cachalia 60

23. Manonmani ‘Ama’ Naidoo 68

24. Shanthievathie (Shanthie) Naidoo 77

25. Rajaluxmi (Rajes) Pillay 85

26. Poomanie (Poo) Moodley 92

27. Ansuya Singh 97

28. Radhi Singh 103

29. Durga Bundhoo 109

30. Reshma Badal 116

31. Ela Gandhi 120

32. Fatima Seedat 128

33. Navaneetham (Navi) Pillay 136

34. Vasendha Phyllis Ruth Naidoo 142

35. Rahima Moosa 151

36. Fatima Meer 157

37. Zuleika Sarojini Christopher 171

38. Ayesha (Bibi) Dawood 175

39. Amina Nagdee Desai 181

40. Zubeida Jaffer 187

41. Frene Noshir Ginwala 193

42. Nina Hassim 199

43. Janey Juggernath Ramkissoon 204

44. Maggie Govender 210

45. Roopwanthi (Roopie) Bugwandeen 216

Photo Section 223

Bibliography 227

Index 237