Apartheid Museum

Resistance in their Blood

The Naidoo-Pillay Family: Pacifists, Protestors, Prisoners, Patriots

The history of the Naidoo-Pillay family in South Africa starts in the late 1800s with Thambi and Veerammal Naidoo, among the first Indians to join Gandhi’s satyagraha movement and resist unjust laws. Both of them went to prison for their beliefs, Thambi fourteen times. Their commitment to fighting injustice continued through subsequent generations. As national and global events unfolded in the 20th century, so did the family’s activism evolve: from the satyagraha movement to mass mobilisation against segregation and apartheid, to armed struggle. In each generation various Naidoo and Pillay family members were detained, imprisoned and tortured for their beliefs.

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