South African Indian Congress

Barry Lewandowski


The SAIC was formed in 1919 withits first congress opening on January 26 1919 by J.X. Merriman. The group highlighted the discriminatory practices against the Indians in Africa, and also tried to point out the efforts of the indians in war. The SAIC used petitions and appeals to the Indian government to get progress. Years later, the group joined with other national organizations allied with colored people.

When asked the reasoning for the SAIC, A. Ismail gave a speech, saying:

"In view of the disabilities and inconvenience which burden the Indians ... it has been decided to call together delegates from the whole of South Africa... as matters affecting us will simply drift and remain in their present unsatisfactory conditions, unless we join hands... and lay our troubles before the authorities. .... It is to be borne in mind that the main object for which we are striving to raise the status of His Majesty's subjects [Indian]. and that this desirable and praise worthy end will never be attained until we put our grievances forward in a united and resolute manner."

In part of their push to join with colored groups in search for more success, they chose to side with the ANC and get into Anti-Apartheid. On March 9, 1947, the SAIC signed a pact with the ANC with the 'Three Doctors Pact'. In 1952, the worked with the ANC to put Nelson Mandela and Ismael Cachalia to lead the Defiance Campaign.

Works Cited

"South African Indian Congress." South African History Online.

"South African Indian Congress (SAIC)." South African Indian Congress (SAIC). Web. 17 Nov. 2015.

"South African Indian Congress." Encyclopedia Britannica