Monday 24 June 2024

Mahatma Gandhi and the World VII-A


In the previous note, we have described the extremely rough treatment that Gandhiji was subjected to during his incarceration in a solitary cell of Pretoria Central Prison from March 3 to May 25, 1909. The prison was the official site for capital punishment in South Africa. The maximum-security section of the prison where Gandhiji was held is called the C Max today. The Wikipedia page on Pretoria Central Prison describes the C-Max thus: 


 “C Max is the maximum security division of the prison. It is run by the South African Department of Correctional Services. The division is specifically designed for violent and disruptive prisoners who have been classified as dangerous in terms of the South African Criminal Procedure Act. Prisoners are kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours of each day out and specialized equipment, such as electric shields, are used by the prison guards. “


The readers may also look at a travellers account of parts of the Pretoria Central Prison which has been turned into a museum here. This includes a surreptitiously clicked picture of C Max, reproduced below. These descriptions should disabuse social-media commentators who claim that jail-going of Gandhiji and other satyagrahis was some silly joke.

Covert shot of the castle-like maximum security building at Kgosi Mampuru. Photo: Ted Botha,

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