Dr Yusuf Mohamed Dadoo
ARTICLES, STATEMENTS AND SPEECHES
Compiled by E. S. Reddy
DEDICATED TO NELSON ROLIHLAHLA MANDELA
- Biography of Yusuf Dadoo
- Landmarks in a Life of Struggle
- Letter to Prof. D.D.T. Jabavu, July 4, 1940
- Letter to Professor D.D.T. Jabavu, July 5, 1940
- Statement before the court at his trial under Emergency Regulations, September 6, 1940
- Statement to the Indian people on the eve of his trial, January 30, 1941
- Statement in court at trial for speech at Benoni, January 31, 1941
- Open letter to General Smuts, January 1942
- Speech at Anti-Pass Conference, Johannesburg, December 4, 1943
- "Segregation or Progress?": An appeal to Natal Indians, March 1945
- "We are marching on"
- The Indian people in South Africa: Facts about the Ghetto Act
- Circular letter to Trade Unions, Progressive Organisations, Democrats and Anti-Fascists, June 10, 1946
- Telegram to Mahatma Gandhi, on behalf of the Joint Passive Resistance Council, on arrest of the First Batch of Passive Resisters, June 1946
- Statement in court in trial for Passive Resistance, June 1946
- Message to the people while awaiting sentence to imprisonment in the Passive Resistance Campaign, June 27, 1946
- Statement on release from prison, September 26, 1946
- Speech at mass welcome meeting in Johannesburg on release from prison, September 29, 1946
- Circular letter to organizations concerning the arrest of J. N. Singh under the Immigration Act, November 9, 1946
- Three Doctors' Pact, March 9, 1947
- "Joint Declaration of Cooperation" signed by Dr. A.B. Xuma, President of the African National Congress, Dr. G.M. Naicker, President of the Natal Indian Congress and Dr. Y.M. Dadoo, President of the Transvaal Indian Congress
- Joint statement of Dr. Yusuf M. Dadoo and Dr. G.M. Naicker, March 11, 1947
- Proposed Round Table Conference
- Message on the First Anniversary of Passive Resistance, June 1947
- Smuts Refuted
- Joint statement of Dr. Dadoo and Dr. Naicker on the correspondence between General Smuts and Pandit Nehru, August 1947
- Call for Renewed Struggle against Ghetto Act
- Resistance or Death
- His Spirit lives on: Tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, January 30, 1948
- Reminiscence of Mahatma Gandhi, February 1948
- Reply to Smuts` Statement on Inequality of Races
- Statement in court by Dr. Dadoo and Dr. G.M. Naicker, when charged with Aiding And Abetting under the Immigrants Regulation Act Of 1913, February 26, 1948
- Farewell speech on eve of Imprisonment, February 29, 1948
- Statement to court by Dr. Dadoo and Dr.G.M. Naicker, March 3, 1948
- Message to the Indian Community, MARCH 3, 1948
- Apartheid over our dead bodies
- Appeal for United Front
- India's Step Most Timely
- Joint press statement by Dr. Dadoo and Dr. Naicker concerning decision of Government of India to raise the South African Indian question again in the United Nations General Assembly, July 1948
- Statement at Press Conference Held at India League, London, October 26, 1948
- "South Africa - On the Road to Fascism";, Pamphlet published jointly with Cassim Jadwat in London, November 1948
- Statement at Press Conference in London, January 25, 1949
- "India, South Africa and U.N.O.": Article in Indian News Chronicle, Delhi, September 25, 1949
- "March Forward, Unitedly, Through Struggle to Freedom": Interview in October 1949
- Malan cannot succeed where Hitler failed; Interview with The Guardian, Cape Town, June 1950
- Telegram to Mrs. Vijayalakshmi Pandit, Leader of the Indian delegation to the United Nations General Assembly, November 21, 1950
- Statement welcoming the Resolution of the United Nations General Assembly on the Treatment of Indians in South Africa,, November 1950
- Fight for Peace, Democracy and an end to Exploitation
- RReport of the Joint Planning Council of the ANC and the South African Indian Congress, November 8, 1951
- Presidential address to the Twentieth Session of the South African Indian Congress Conference, Johannesburg, January 25, 1952
- Letter to Prime Minister Malan,, February 20, 1952
- Statement condemning the First Banning Orders under the Suppression of Communism Act, May 22, 1952
- Statement Concerning Banning Order Served on him under the Suppression of Communism Act,, May 1952
- Statement from the Dock before being sentenced in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court for Defying Banning Orders,, July 1952
- Letter to The Star, In reply to Archbishop Denis Hurley, November 1952
- Message from Moses M. Kotane, Walter Sisulu, J.B. Marks and Dr. Dadoo Read at the Unveiling of a memorial to Johannes Nkosi in Durban, July 18, 1953
- Greetings to the Asian-African Conference in Bandung, 1955
- Racial Crisis in South Africa
- Forced withdrawal of South Africa from the Commonwealth - Historic Step forward in Struggle against Apartheid
- Message from London to the South African people, March 1961
- Why the South Africa United Front Failed: Disruptive Role of the Pan Africanist Congress
- Article published in New Age, March 29,1962
- Memorandum, on behalf of the South African Indian Congress, to the United Nations Group of Experts on South Africa, March 6, 1964
- Statement to the Delegation of the United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid, London, April 1964
- The full title of the Committee at that time was "Special Committee on the Policies of Apartheid of the Government of the Republic of South Africa"
- Memorandum to the United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid, April 1964
- Message on Inauguration of Sechaba, Monthly Organ of African National Congress, in London, January 1967
- "The role of the Indian People in the South African Revolution":: An Interview in 1968
- Memorandum to the United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid, June 1968
- Appendix 1: : Freedom Fighters on the March: A message from Dr. Y. M. Dadoo to the Indian People
- Appendix 2: : The effects of the South African Government`s Educational Policy on the Education of the Indian People
- Tribute to J.B. Marks
- Fifty Fighting Years
- Tribute to Vietnam
- Amilcar Cabral - Outstanding leader of African Liberation Movement: A Tribute
- South Africa; Time of Challenge
- Report, on behalf of the Secretariat, to the plenary session of the Central Committee of the South African Communist Party, October 1973
- Tribute to Michael Harmel
- Tribute to J.B. Marks
- Interview with a Correspondent of the Novosti Press Agency, 1975
- Tribute to Comrade Moses Kotane on his Seventieth Birthday, June 1975
- Tribute to M.P. Naicker, May 8, 1977
- The Maturing of the Revolutionary Process, 1971-1977
- Our Greatest Indian Leader since Gandhiji
- Tribute to Paul Robeson
- Message to the United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid on the observance of the 80th anniversary of the birth of Paul Robeson, April 8, 1978
- Tribute to Moses Kotane
- South Africa: Revolution on an Upgrade
- Prisoners of Apartheid
- Statement submitted to the United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid, on the occasion of the Day of Solidarity with South African Political Prisoners, October 11, 1979
- South African Communists Speak
- Introduction to South African Communists Speak: Documents from the History of the South African Communist Party, 1915-1980, London, 1981
Farewell to his Comrades
- Message of the National Executive Committee of the ANC, Delivered by Oliver Tambo, at the Funeral of Yusuf Dadoo, London, September 1983
- A Tribute to Yusuf Dadoo, by Joe Slovo, African Communist, 3rd Quarter 1991
- Government Ire follows Dadoo to the grave, by Dr Fatima Meer
- Personal Reminiscences Winnie Dadoo Zainab Asvat
- Articles from New Age, 1955-1956
Dr. Yusuf Mohamed Dadoo played an outstanding role in the South African liberation movement for over half a century - in persuading the Indian community to link its destiny with that of the African majority, in building the unity of all the oppressed people and democratic whites of that country in a common struggle against racism, in promoting fearless and militant resistance to the oppressors, and in developing the international outlook of the movement and international solidarity with it. He led the non-violent Indian passive resistance movement - uniting Gandhians, Marxists and others. He was a founder and leader of the Non-European United Front, and of the Communist Party when it was revived as a clandestine organisation. And since going into exile in 1960, he played a key role in promoting underground and armed struggle in South Africa and a world-wide anti-apartheid movement.
His contribution was recognised by the national Indian organisation and by the Communist Party which elected him chairman. It was acknowledged by the African National Congress which awarded him its highest honour, Isitwalandwe-Seaparankoe in 1955, and elected him the Vice-Chairman of its Revolutionary Council and later of its Politico-Military Council. It was also recognised by the racist regime which imprisoned and restricted him on numerous occasions.
Dr. Dadoo began his political activities as a young pupil in South Africa in his teens. Inspired by the spirit of defiance of injustice that Mahatma Gandhi tried to impart in the Indian community in South Africa, he took part in demonstrations against anti-Indian measures by the racist regime and organised a meeting of students to hear Mrs. Sarojini Naidu, the Indian poet and national leader, who saw, already in 1924, that the struggle of the Indian community is linked with that of the African and Coloured people. Though he came from a prosperous Indian family, he developed a sense of solidarity with the African people suffering inhuman exploitation, and took an interest in the African trade union movement (ICU). He even helped African workers in his father`s business in their strike for better conditions.
In later years, during his sojourn in India and in Britain as a student, he not only identified with the Indian national movement and the anti-fascist and anti-colonial movements in Europe but actively participated in them. He was first arrested in 1929 in London in a demonstration for Indian freedom. The unity of the oppressed people and democratic whites, advocated by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and the League against Imperialism, and the united front against fascism which was espoused by progressive leaders in Europe, were an inspiration to him. He saw clearly that such unity was essential in the struggle against racism in South Africa.
Returning to South Africa in 1936, he soon began to confront the authorities, as well as the rich traders in the leadership of the Indian Congresses who saw the future of the community in an accommodation with the racist regime and kept aloof from the struggle of the Africans. He began to organise the community for resistance and at the same time pressed for unity with the Africans and the Coloured people in a common struggle. In 1938-39 he became the founder and secretary of the Transvaal Non-European United Front and leader of the Nationalist Group of the Transvaal Indian Congress. Above all, he fully dedicated himself to the struggle for freedom and equality for all the people of South Africa. His first two trials in South Africa were, in fact, not in the struggle of the Indian community but for his work as a leader of Non-European United Front. From the dock of the racist courts, he denounced the oppression and exploitation of all the black people in South Africa. In 1944-45 he was associated with Dr. A.B. Xuma, President of the African National Congress, in a campaign against the humiliating pass laws imposed upon the African people, and was again arrested for leading a procession.
In 1946-48, he led the Indian passive resistance movement in which over two thousand people courted imprisonment, and served two terms of imprisonment with hard labour. Even during that difficult struggle, which was to have a great impact on the liberation movement, he and his colleagues helped the great African mineworkers` strike of August 1946. A number of Africans, Coloured people and whites went to prison in solidarity with the Indian people. Out of that experience came the Xuma-Naicker-Dadoo pact for cooperation between the African and Indian Congresses. His determined efforts to promote cooperation in struggle, despite all difficulties, contributed greatly to the joint action of African and Indian Congresses in the stay-at-home on June 26, 1950, in protest against apartheid, and then to the historic Campaign of Defiance of Unjust Laws in 1952 in which he was the first, together with Nelson Mandela, to court imprisonment. Banned and restricted, he continued clandestine acivities to strengthen the Congress Alliance of the 1950`s and helped the formation of the underground South African Communist Party.
The Sharpeville massacre, the outlawing of the African National Congress and the State of Emergency in 1960, created a new situation. Going abroad at the insistence of the liberation movement, he made a great contribution, in cooperation with the leaders of the African National Congress, to the organization of armed struggle and to the building of a world-wide anti-apartheid movement.
Oliver Tambo, President of the African National Congress, pointed out at his funeral in 1983:
"...it would be wrong to conceive of Comrade Dadoo only as a leader of the Indian community of our population. He was one of the foremost leaders of our country, of the stature of Chief Lutuli, Moses Kotane, J. B. Marks, Bram Fischer, Nelson Mandela and others...
"His contribution as a member of the Revolutionary Council of the African National Congress cannot possibly be overstated...
"As a true patriot, Dadoo understood already in the thirties that the struggle in South Africa is part of a much wider struggle against capitalism, colonialism and for national liberation, peace and social progress. We owe it to stalwarts like him that today our vanguard liberation movement, the African National Congress, enjoys high international prestige as a genuine spokesman and leader of our people`s advance to the seizure of power."
I have prepared this compilation of his speeches and writings, from 1940 to the day he passed away in London, in the hope that it will assist scholars and students interested in the study of the history of the great South African liberation movement. I am aware that no such compilation can fully reflect his wide-ranging contribution to the struggle, for, though he was a powerful speaker and a thinker, he was, above all, a man of action.
He led by his example, by his readiness to participate in every struggle and campaign, whatever the sacrifice. He never set himself apart as a leader, but was always with the freedom fighters. By his commitment, courage and modesty, he earned the love and affection of the people, and the admiration even of those who disagreed with his ideological convictions.
I became interested in the South African struggle, as a student in 1943-44, when I read a pamphlet by Dr. Dadoo. I became convinced that the destiny of the Indian community in South Africa was linked to that of the African people, and that its future can only be secured by its wholehearted participation in the common struggle for freedom and equality, in which the interests of the African majority must inevitably be paramount. For my country, India, as Pandit Nehru affirmed, it was not merely a question of the protection of people of Indian origin but of identification with the struggle for the total liberation of South Africa.
Twenty years later, as Principal Secretary of the United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid, I met Dr. Dadoo in London on the suggestion of the leaders of the African National Congress, and we remained close friends until his death. I was always impressed by his vision and faith, and by the readiness of this man, who loved life, to sacrifice all. He always emphasised that the leadership of the struggle belongs to the African National Congress.
His mind was always with those in apartheid prisons in South Africa, above all, Nelson Mandela for whom he had a great affection - and he constantly encouraged me in promoting the campaign for the release of South African political prisoners.
I have, therefore, thought it most appropriate that this compilation of his speeches and writings should be dedicated to Nelson Mandela, who came to symbolise the struggle of the South African people against the inhumanity of racism and for a non-racial and democractic society.
E. S. Reddy
South Africa Freedom Day
June 26, 1990
I must express my gratitude to a number of friends who have encouraged, advised and assisted me in the preparation of this compilation:
- Shafiur Rahman, the initiator of the Dadoo-Naicker-Xuma scholarship at Edinburgh University, who has been a constant source of assistance and who obtained for me several items from British libraries;
- T. G. Ramamurthi for his painstaking efforts to find, copy and provide me with material from the National Archives of India;
- Ms. Frene Ginwala for drawing my attention to the documents in the ANC archives at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies in London and in the Pyarelal Collection in the National Archives of India;
- Mrs. Sonia Bunting for preparing for me an index of references to Dr. Dadoo in The Guardian, Advance, Clarion Call, and New Age;
- the staff of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies and Yale University Library;
- and to many others, particuarly Prof. Thomas Karis, Brian Bunting, Mendi Msimang. Essop Pahad, Francis Meli, Ramnie and Issy Dinat, Nikhil Chakravartty and Mulk Raj Anand.
The documents in this compilation are mainly from the following sources:
- United Nations documents
- Passive Resister, Johannesburg, 1946-1948
- Thomas Karis and Gwendolen M. Carter (ed.) From Protest to Challenge: a Documentary History of African Politics in South Africa, 1882-1964, Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1973
- A. Lerumo. History of the Communist Party of South Africa: Fifty Fighting Years, 1921-1971. Indian edition. New Delhi: People`s Publishing House, 1978.
- South African Communists Speak: Documents from the History of the South African Communist Party, 1915-1980. London: Inkululeko Publications, 1981.
- African Communist, London
- National Archives of India
- Institute of Commonwealth Studies, London (ANC archives)
Last updated: 22 May 2000