A I Kajee His Work for the SA Indian Community
I first met Abdulla Kajee on the quay at Durban in July, 1929, when I stepped off a British India steamer at the end of a long journey. Fresh from the rural life of northern India, South African Indians and their complex problems seemed to me strange and a little alarming. Yet for those concerned with Indians in South Africa the period was one of hope. The Indian community was united. The office bearers of the South African Indian Congress included a Christian, a Hindu and a Muslim. The organisation was equally representative of the Tamil and Hindi speaking descendants of indentured labourers on the one hand, and of the Gujerati speaking merchants on the other hand. Its leaders were not only united, they were also skilled representatives of their people. They were day by day working out a technique of approach to and negotiation with South African authorities, whether the central Government, the Provincial Administrations or the Municipalities. They had profited greatly by association during the 1927 Cape Town Conference with the wise and politically experienced delegates, both Indian and British, who had in that year come to South Africa on behalf of the Government of India.