The 1949 Riots story by Fatima Meer

Professor Fatima Meer was born August 12, 1928 and passed away March 12, 2010. It’s been nine years since she passed on and we pay tribute to this amazing woman.

Dr Goonam and Dr Fatima Meer. Image credit: Dasarath Chetty Pictorial Tribute to Fatima Meer see more photos here

In 1949, the city of Durban and surrounds were shaken by the historic and painful incident of the Cato Manor Riots, the horror will never fade.

At the cessation of the riots, Fatima threw herself into community work to improve relations between Indian and Zulu people in Durban.

She became Secretary of the League and Bertha Mkhize (president of the ANC Women’s League) became the Chairperson. The League organised a crèche and distributed milk in the poverty-stricken shanty town of Cato Manor.

The 1949 Durban Riots was one of the turning points in Fatima’s life, and she spent the better part of her life working tirelessly to improve relationships with her fellow South Africans, promoting justice, reconciliation and non-violent action.

How did whites instigate violence between Indians and Africans?


  1. The amazing journey of Fatima Meer
  2. In Pictures: Remembering Fatima Meer

Source: The Choices Program footage by Brown University

About Indianspice Staff Reporter

Report and write stories for It is our ambitious goal to cover issues/events/news concerning South Africa and the diaspora.

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