Qurban marks Indian role – VOC Report


When Mahatma Gandhi went to Britain in 1906 (seen here) to persuade the British government not to approve anti Indian laws by the Boer Republic, Haji Ozer Ally was part of his delegation. On Tuesday, descendents of the haji will commemorate the role he played in mobilising local Indians with a special qurbani in Cape Town.

South African Indians are presently commemmorating “150 years of Indians in SA” and the family of Haji Ozer Ally will celebrate this historic event in a special way on Tuesday. The commemoration will see the family slaughtering numerous sheep as part of the Eidul Adha celebrations, in honour of the contribution their forefather made in fighting anti Indian laws between 1893 and 1911.

A spokesperson for the family said one third of the meat will be distributed to family members and the rest to the poor, as is customary at Eidul Adha. The event will take place at the residence of Hadji Ozer Ally’s grandaughters, Ghairoonesa Hendricks nee Booley and Labeba Ally. In addition, the family plans to release a commemorative publication at an exhibition they plan for January 2011 to recall the arrest of Hadji Ozier Ally 103 years ago for mobilising Indians not to carry pass books. This process had included being finger printed. Instead Ally urged them to resist anti-Indian laws.

Author of the book, which is to be named H.O.Ally Fight to Do or Die for Indians, Ganief Hendricks said the publication seeks to highlight some of Ally’s major struggles to fight for the rights of Indians and non whites, including Natives, Coloureds, Chinese and Muslim Turks in South Africa during the rule of President Jan Smuts. “My research, which is taken from original family documents, will reveal the significant contribution the Hadji made during this early phase of the liberation struggle in South Africa.”

Ally was the elected chair of the first non white political party in South Africa, formed in Kimberley in 1893 and attended by 200 “Natives” and 200 Indians. He was also a senior official of the Transvaal Indian Congress. In 1906 he went to 10 Downing Street in London accompanied by Mahatma Gandhi to persuade the British government not to approve the anti Indian laws by the Boer Republics requiring Indians to carry the pass and restricting their free movement and rights to trade. VOC