The Indians of Durban are still bewildered and stunned by the convulsion of two weeks ago ”” one fierce burst of terror which lasted from Friday afternoon, January 14, to Saturday morning, January 15. But let this be clearly understood: this was no race riot; it was no clash between two races; there were no pitched battles, no organised assaults and reprisals by two race groups. The Indians did not fight back. When violence descended on their person they took cover and remained under cover, from where they were later hounded out and killed or burnt inside their homes.
Subsequently, however, cases were reported where some Indians attempted reprisals, but they were quickly dealt with. At no stage, therefore, can the convulsion really be called a race riot.
Briefly, this is what happened. On Thursday evening (January 13) Indians in the heart of the Indian business area were set upon by Africans. They did not know what was happening. On the first day there was hardly any destruction of property, and after some hours the wave of violence died down.
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