Pietermaritzburg Train Station
Pietermaritzburg is also famous for an incident early in the life of Mahatma Gandhi. On 7 June 1893, while Gandhi was on his way to Pretoria, a white man objected to Gandhi’s presence in a first-class carriage, and he was ordered to move to the van compartment at the end of the train. Gandhi, who had a first-class ticket, refused, and was thrown off the train at Pietermaritzburg. Shivering through the winter night in the waiting room of the station, Gandhi made the momentous decision to stay on in South Africa and fight the racial discrimination against Indians there. Out of that struggle emerged his unique version of nonviolent resistance,Satyagraha. Today, a bronze statue of Gandhi stands in Church Street, in the city centre. – Wikipedia
Wemmer Mining Company
Mohandas K. Gandhi is arrested as he leads a march of Indian miners in South Africa
Date: 6 November, 1913
On his journey to South Africa in 1893, Mohandas Gandhi had first -hand experience of the discrimination faced by people of colour. His response to this was the establishment of the Natal Indian Congress (NIC) in 1894. Within three years of his arrival in South Africa, Gandhi had become a political leader, providing hope to many Indians who had no political rights under the dispensation of the time. In 1903, he founded a newspaper, the Indian Opinion, in which his ideas on passive resistance or Satyagraha were spread. Some years later, an act was introduced in which all Indians in the Transvaal were required to carry a pass. Under Gandhi’s leadership, 3000 Indians protested against the law by refusing to register for their passes. This became known as the 1906 Satyagraha Campaign.
By 1913, a tax had been imposed on all former indentured labourers, known as the Indian Relief Bill. In protest of this, Gandhi launched a passive resistance campaign, gaining the support of thousands of mine workers. While leading a march on 6 November 1913, which included 127 women, 57 children and 2037 men, Gandhi was arrested. He was released on bail, rejoined the march and was re-arrested. The Indian Relief Bill was finally scrapped.
Gandhi returned to India, and through his consistent passive opposition to British rule, led his country to independence. His philosophy on passive resistance was drawn on significantly during the fight against apartheid. The Defiance Campaign in 1952 can be seen as an example of this. – South African History Online