About this site

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

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South African Indian Council

In 1968 the government set up the South African Indian Council to make recommendations to the government about matters affecting Indians but it was seen as a stooge of the government and was rejected by most Indian people. It comprised only nominated members until 1974 when it was reconvened under a system whereby half the members were elected by Indian people. However, the NIC* and SAIC* objected strongly to this government-backed body, demanding nothing less than universal franchise in a unitary state. The majority of Indians rejected the proposals for the new tricameral constitution* out of hand and the NIC organized a boycott of the 1981 elections for the council. As a result there was a meagre 6 per cent Indian vote. The National People's Party became the dominant party in the council but never had more than minority support among Indians and was consistently condemned by the SAIC. Despite this widespread antagonism, in 1983 members of Amichand Rajbansi's National People's Party represented Indians in the tricameral parliament's House of Delegates.

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.