Cartwright Flats

Location

Address: Adjacent Cartwright taxi rank, facing Johannes Nkosi St

Cartwright Flats was a popular meeting place for members of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU). In 1925 A.W.G. Champion became Provincial Secretary of the ICU in Natal and established offices in the Natal Workers Club nearby at 11 Leopold Street. Large crowds of workers often gathered here for meetings on the open ground, which was then on the outskirts of Durban. Among leaders who addressed workers at this site was Johannes Nkosi, who was an activist for the Communist Party of South Africa (CPSA). Originally from Johannesburg, Nkosi was appointed as an organiser for the ICU in February 1929. After the Durban beerhall riots of June 1929, circumstances became more favourable for the CPSA due to growing African militancy. Johannes Nkosi promoted the CPSA political programme that called for a “South African native republic” and the burning of passbooks. In meetings at Cartwright Flats he openly called upon Africans to fight for their freedom, and his fiery speeches drew large crowds that led to considerable growth in membership of both the ICU and CPSA. In late 1929 Nkosi announced a campaign to burn passbooks on 16 December, which resulted in a bloody clash between African workers and Durban city police. During the fighting at Cartwright Flats several protestors were seriously injured, including Johannes Nkosi. Following emergency brain surgery, he later died from injuries sustained to his head and abdomen, thus becoming the first member of the Communist Party in South Africa killed for his beliefs.

I-Cartwright Flats

I-Cartwright Flats kwakuyindawo edumile yokuhlanganela amalungu e-Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU). Ngo 1925 u-A.W.G. Champion waba uNobhala wesiFundazwe we-ICU eNatali wasungula iHhovisi le-Natal Workers Club eduzane ku-11 Leopold Street. Izinkumbi zabasebenzi zazijwayele ukuhlangana lapha uma zinemihlangano esesidlangalaleni, ngaleso sikhathi okwakungaphandle kweTheku.

Phakathi kwabanye abaholi abakhuluma nabasebenzi kule ndawo kubalwa uJohannes Nkosi, owayeisishoshovu seCommunist Party of South Africa (CPSA). UNkosi owayengowokudabuka eGoli waqokwa njengomdidiyeli we-ICU ngoFebhuwari 1929. Ngemuva kwezibhelu zasezinkanjini zikatshwala ngoNhlangulana ka 1929, izimo zavuna kakhulu i-CPSA ngenxa yokukhula kwemibhikisho enodlame e-Afrika. UJohannes Nkosi wayedudula uhlelo lwe-CPSA lwezombusazwe olwalunxenxa “ukuba kube nezwe labantu bomdabu baseNingizimu Afrika” nokushiswa kwamapasi.

Emihlanganweni ku-Cartwright Flats wayemema abantu abangama-Afrika ukuba balwele inkululeko yabo, futhi izinkulumo zakhe ezishisayo zazidonsa izinkumbi zabantu okwaholela ekukhuleni ngamandla kwamalungu e-ICU ne-CPSA. Ngasekupheleni kuka-1929 uNkosi wethula umkhankaso wokushiswa kwamapasi ziyi-16 kuZibandlela, okwaholela ezibhelwini ezinzima phakathi kwabasebenzi abangama-Afrika namaphoyisa edolobha laseThekwini.

Ngesikhathi kusuka izidumo e-Cartwright Flats kwalimala ababhikisi abaningi, kubandakanya naye uJohannes Nkosi. Ngemuva kokuhlinzwa ekhanda, washona ngemuva kwalokho ngenxa yokulimala ekhanda nasemzimbeni, eba yilungu lokuqala le-CPSA ukubulawelwa izinkolelo zalo.

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