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George Sewpersadh (1936- )

George Sewpersadh, a long standing member of the Natal Indian Congress (NIC) was born in Cato Manor in 1936. He graduated at the University of Natal as a lawyer. Influenced by Mahatma Gandhi and Nehru, George Sewpersadh joined the NIC in December of 1956, and soon he became the president of the Manor Garden Branch of the organization. From handing out leaflets, the Congress newspaper, the New Age, attending the Passive Resistance Campaigns of the 1940’s, George Sewpersadh, soon emerged as a player in the UDF, the Congress Alliance and a champion of human rights and liberty.

After the revival of the NIC in 1971, by Mewa Ramgobin and others, George Sewpersadh (GS), was soon elected president of the NIC, when Mewa Ramgobin was banned. The NIC, on its revival, pursued the same policy as adopted by the Congress Alliance.

However, in 1973 George Sewpersadh was banned and this was followed by a series of bannings, house arrests and imprisonments at Modderbee and Pietermaritzburg Prisons alongside the likes of Farouk Meer, Thamba Pillay, Rabi Bhagwandeen, M J Naidoo, Paul David to mention just a few.

In 1985, he joined the UDF (United Democratic Front) and in December 1985 George Sewpersadh was charged with Treason, for furthering the aims of communism and for furthering the aims of the ANC.

Being very philosophical in his approach and outlook, Sewpersadh’s interview focuses on the evils of apartheid, the poor housing, living conditions, separate amenities, the role of lawyers in the political struggle, and the reasons for the ultimate crumbling of apartheid. He also talks of communism, socialism, capitalism and the re-establishment of new world orders in France (French Revolution), Russia and to some extend conditions that influenced and accelerated change in South Africa. He talks at length on the ANC, the PAC (Pan African Congress), the UDF, the BCM (Black Conscious Movement), the Nationalist Party, the Tri-cameral System, the Sunset Clause, CODESA, the Inkatha Freedom Party, the 1994 elections, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) including Karl Marx philosophy, the concepts of freedom, revolution, democracy and touches on the Hindu scriptures and their application to political ideology in solving social ills.