Aug 22, 2008

World - Special coin to commemorate Gandhi's struggle in S.Africa

DURBAN: A special coin commemorating Mahatma Gandhi's struggle in South Africa against racial discrimination in the early 1900s has been launched here.

Natal Minister of Finance KwaZulu and leader of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) in the province Zweli Mkhize launched the coin last night marking the beginning of an Indian Experience Festival.

The event, which will continue till October five in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, is the brain-child of Indian Consul General in Durban Harsh Varshan Shringla.

In his address, Mkhize said that Mahatma had made an immense contribution to the liberation of the South Africa through his policy of Satyagraha.

"Mahatma Gandhi is not only the son of India but also a son of South Africa," he said.

"We in South Africa are grateful to have had a leader of the calibre of Gandhi who lived and struggled here. We have learnt a great deal from him and are privileged to have put into practice his methods of struggle against racial discrimination and oppression," Mkhize said.

The occasion was also characterised by ceremonial burning of passes to observe the 100th anniversary of the burning of registration certificates for Indians by 2,000 natives led by Gandhi in Johannesburg in August 1908.

The Art Gallery in the City Hall, where the Gandhi coin was launched, was adorned with his paintings by artists from India.

Ms Ela Gandhi, who is a former MP and grand-daughter of Gandhi also attended the function and made a video presentation of his life in South Africa.

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