Struggle activists honoured

2014-09-01 00:00

A CHATSWORTH resident was honoured at last week’s Gandhi Development Trust (GDT) awards.

Political activist Kay Moonsamy (88) received a Satyagraha Peace Award at a function held at the Gujarati Hindu Sanskruti Kendra Hindu Temple and Community Centre in Greyville.

Moonsamy was active in the Natal Indian Congress from the mid-1940s and elected its vice-president in 1955. He was a defendant in the 1956 Treason Trial until charges were withdrawn.

He went into exile in 1965 and worked for the ANC and South African Congress of Trade Unions in Lusaka, Zambia, before returning to SA in 1991.

Moonsamy was honoured to receive the award, saying he shared it with others “who participated in the struggle for the liberation of our country”.

Graça Machel, widow of former president Nelson Mandela and former first lady of South Africa and Mozambique, received the Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Peace and Reconciliation. Another international peace award was given to the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (Accord), which Machel chairs.

Other awards went to political activist Andrew Mlangeni; Ruth Mompatu, a leader of the 1952 Defiance Campaign; and Black Sash member Audrey Coleman and her husband Max Coleman, a former member of the Human Rights Commission and founder of the Detainees Parents’ Support Committee.

Posthumous awards went to Christiaan Frederick Beyers Naudé, theologian and founder of the Christian Institute, and political activist Rahima Moosa, a leader of the 1956 Women’s March.

• Stephen.Coan@witness.co.za

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