South African struggle icon Mewa Ramgobin passes away

South African struggle icon and husband of Mahatma Gandhi’s granddaughter Mewa Ramgobin has died at the age of 83 after a prolonged illness. Ramgobin, the former president of the Natal Indian Congress which fought discrimination against Indians in South Africa, breathed his last at a Cape Town hospital.

  • Ramgobin was married to Ela Gandhi, a human rights activist and Mahatma Gandhi’s granddaughter. A former African National Congress member of Parliament until 2009, he was among the first supporters of the Release Mandela campaign. He was charged for treason in 1985.
  • The couple was involved in the activities of the Phoenix Settlement Trust that was established in 1904 by Gandhi near Durban during his tenure in South Africa.
  • Just hours before Ramgobin’s death, Ela had departed for Sweden with one of their daughters Asha who is due to receive an honorary degree there.
  • Ramgobin’s commitment to the Gandhian cause saw him establish a Gandhi museum and library, organising the Annual Gandhi Lecture and educate people from different race groups on Gandhian philosophies.
  • An author of books ‘Waiting To Live’ and ‘Prisms Of Light’, he would have turned 84 on November 10.
  • In 1983, Ramgobin made international headlines when he and five other members of the resistance movement United Democratic Front sought refuge in the British consulate.
  • After Mandela’s election, Ramgobin served for several years in the first Parliament of South Africa that was not exclusively white as in the apartheid years.