Ex­tra­or­di­nary, un­told sto­ries of a con­tin­uum of re­sis­tance

A com­pelling ex­hi­bi­tion has opened at the Apartheid Mu­seum. It tells the story of a fam­ily’s fight against op­pres­sion over four gen­er­a­tions, in two coun­tries, writes

The Star Early Edition - - INSIDE -

Re­sis­tance Botswana.

Ram­nie re­mem­bers: “We missed our ex­tended fam­ily in Rockey Street. So we recre­ated Rockey Street, but on a smaller scale. Paul and Ade­laide Joseph, Esmé Gold­berg, the Se­pels, Ben and Mary Turok, and May and Den­nis Bru­tus were fre­quent vis­i­tors.”

The next gen­er­a­tion took up the ba­ton. Kuben, Prema’s son, was ar­rested for or­gan­is­ing a demon­stra­tion dur­ing his ma­tric year and had to write some of his fi­nal ex­ams in jail. To­day he is the deputy gov­er­nor of the Re­serve Bank.

Ram­nie and Issy’s chil­dren, Sean and Natalya Di­nat, were ac­tive in the ANC in Lon­don from an early age. Sean went for mil­i­tary train­ing in the MK camps in An­gola in 1984, aged 19, and Natalya grad­u­ated as a med­i­cal doc­tor from Pa­trice Lu­mumba Uni­ver­sity, Moscow, in 1991.

Their cousins, Thava and Nava and Su­bethri, were all ac­tive in the lib­er­a­tion strug­gle dur­ing the 1980s. Murthie’s daugh­ter Zoya and Prema’s son Duggy be­came teach­ers, driven by a de­sire to have a pos­i­tive in­flu­ence on young lives in uncer­tain times. Su­bethri is a se­nior man­ager in the Na­tional Trea­sury.

In­dres died last year, aged 79, and Prema, a Jo­han­nes­burg coun­cil­lor since the demo­cratic elec­tions of 1994, is re­tired as the ANC chief whip.

Emilia Potenza, the cu­ra­tor of ex­hi­bi­tions and ed­u­ca­tion, said at the open­ing: “This is a story about choice. Ev­ery per­son faced the same cir­cum­stances at these points of his­tory, but very few re­sponded in the way this fam­ily did. Be­tween 1908 and 1989, 21 mem­bers of the same fam­ily were im­pris­oned. It’s a story of an un­shak­able com­mit­ment to non-racial­ism.”

PEACE­FUL MEANS: Thambi Naidoo, right, Ma­hatma Gandhi’s right-hand man in pas­sive In­dian re­sis­tance in South Africa.

TIES THAT BIND: Amma Naidoo with her chil­dren, from left, Ram­nie, Murthie, Shan­thie and In­dres.

PROUD DAD: Sean Di­nat and his daugh­ter Leilah, 16, the youngest Naidoo gen­er­a­tion.

CALL TO ARMS: A plac­ard at the ex­hi­bi­tion.

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