Indian-origin SAfrican freedom struggle veteran dies

Indian-origin SAfrican freedom struggle veteran dies

Indian-origin SAfrican freedom struggle veteran dies

South Africa's Indian-origin veteran freedom fighter, Kay Moonsamy, who worked in exile from many countries, including India, died today. He was in his early 90s.

Born as Kesval Moonsamy in 1926, he joined the Natal Indian Congress in his youth, rising to become its treasurer in the early 1950's and was elected as vice president in 1955.

After charges against him were dropped by the apartheid era government in the infamous Treason trial in 1957, a year after he was initially charged, Moonsamy went into exile in Zambia to work with the South African Congress of Trade Unions and the African National Congress.

Both these organisations were destined to become partners in the tripartite alliance, with the South African Communist Party, governing South Africa under the African National Congress (ANC) in a democratic South Africa under Nelson Mandela.

After returning to South Africa, Moonsamy became a Member of Parliament in the new democratic order.

"His life would make an interesting book and teach us about some of our history which is not in the text books," Satish Dhupelia, a great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, said in a tribute.

"He worked in exile in Botswana, Swaziland, Zambia, India and the Soviet Union, for 27 years for the freedom of this country, and this country has lost another devoted son of our soil," Dhupelia said, as he recalled how the Gandhi Development Trust run by his aunt Ela Gandhi recognised Moonsamy's efforts with an award in 2014.

Moonsamy's funeral service will take place in Durban on Saturday.