Struggle stalwart Mewa Ramgobin dies

Durban - The family of Mewa Ramgobin, the former president of the Natal Indian Congress, will meet on Tuesday to discuss his funeral arrangements.

Ramgobin, 83, the ex-husband of human rights activist, Ela Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi’s granddaughter, died in Cape Town on Monday night.

Mewa Ramgobin. Credit: AP

“The funeral will be in Durban; that was his last wish,” his son, Kidar, said on Tuesday.

Ela Gandhi, and one of the couple’s daughter’s, Asha, are out of the country and would only return on Sunday, he said.

Asha is receiving an honorary doctorate in Sweden and her mother has gone with her.

Ramgobin was also the president of the Phoenix Settlement Trust, which was founded by Gandhi in 1904.

A political activist since his teenage years, Ramgobin became more politically involved at the University of Natal.

He was banned for about 17 years and placed under house arrest for many of those years.

In 1973, a parcel bomb exploded in his office in Durban. The government restricted him, which meant that he could not work in Durban and he moved his office to Verulam.

Ramgobin was among the first people to support the Release Mandela campaign.

He became the treasurer of the United Democratic Front in 1983, was arrested the next year and released after 19 days.

He was re-arrested and accused of high treason in the wake of the 1984 riots, and acquitted the following year.

Ramgobin, who also authored several books, was an ANC MP until 2009.