Cape Indians, Apartheid and Higher Education
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On a Sunday afternoon, 15 November 2009, the Luxurama Theatre in Wynberg was filled to capacity as Indians in Cape Town gathered to launch the Cape Town 1860 Legacy Foundation in preparation for the 2010 events commemorating the 150th anniversary of the arrival of Indians in Natal. The Foundation had been constituted after meetings in Cape Town had been addressed by Satish Dhupelia and AV Mohammed who were members of the 1860 Legacy Foundation of Durban, tasked with co-ordinating a national movement. They and Ashwin Trikamjee, a religious leader who chaired the Durban committee were present. The gathering brought Gujarati Hindus, Christians, Muslims, and Tamil Hindus of the city together. While the ancestors of many of those present had come as immigrants to the Cape directly from India and had little direct connection to indenture, the Tamils present did have their roots in the indenture system. The movement from Natal to the Cape Colony by the ex-indentured had, in fact, begun from the 1870s in response to the discovery of diamonds in Kimberley.1 Many Tamil Indians would continue to come to the Cape in the post-Union period often breaking inter-provincial restrictions on movement and settling in the Cape illegally.