Great grand-daughter of Mahatma Gandhi jailed for 7 years

Scion of Mahatma Gandhi, residents of South Africa are in limelight nowadays after a court in Durban, South Africa passed a judgment of seven years of prison to his great-granddaughter who is eminent for her community work, due to her involvement in six million rand fraud and forgery case.

History of Mahatma Gandhi in Africa

Before leading the Indian freedom movements against injustice and class divide, Mahatma Gandhi lived in South Africa. He arrived in Durban on the ship SS Safari in 1893. He arose the salience of the leader of the South African Indian community so quickly. His active participation in the nonviolent protests in South Africa had a great impact on people that he is still considered a great leader in South Africa.

Mahatma Gandhi and his wife Kasturba Gandhi had four sons, Harilal (born in 1888), Manilal (born in 1892), Ramdas (born in 1897), Devdas (born in 1900). Manilal Mohandas Gandhi lived and worked in South Africa.

“The Phoenix Settlement” is a place settled near Durban in South Africa by Mahatma Gandhi in 1904, there he established a co-operative to start his observations for Satyagraha and also published his newspaper named Indian Opinion. Gandhi sent Manilal to South Africa in 1917 to assist the publications of Indian Opinion in the Gujarati section particularly. Taking this ahead, Manilal became the permanent and longest-serving editor of the newspaper, since his father urged that this work was for the greater good and not for personal benefits, he did the work without payment. While working there, he performed arduous tasks, worked on the ground, spent his entire life in the press assisting in the publication process mentioned Uma Dhupelia-Mesthrie, granddaughter of Manilal Gandhi in her book ‘Gandhi’s Prisoner? The Life of Gandhi’s Son Manilal’.

Scion of Mahatma Gandhi

Manilal got married in 1927 to Sushila Mashruwala, who became his printing press partner later. They had three children Sita, Ela, and Arun. Ashish Lata Ramgobin is the daughter of Ela Gandhi, granddaughter of Manilal Gandhi, and great-granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi. Another known members of Mahatma Gandhi’s family are Kirti Menon, she is an activist, educator, and writer based in Johannesburg, South Africa. The late Satish Dhupelia, who worked as a videographer and photographer in media. Uma Dhupelia-Mesthrie, Ela Gandhi, and Lata Ramgobin herself are human rights activists.

Ela Gandhi is also a member of the South African Parliament.

Lata Ramgobin sentenced to 7 years jail

On Monday, 7th June 2021, A South African Court in Durban found Ashish Lata Ramgobin guilty and sentenced her to 7 years in prison due to her role in a forgery case. 56-year-old was charged with scamming businessman S R Maharaj after he loaned her R6.2 million for clearing import and Customs duties on a non-existent package from India. He has assured a part of the profits.

National Protesting Authority NPA’s Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said that during the trials against Lata Ramgobin in 2015, she allegedly had presented fake invoices and documents to assure investors that three containers of linen were being transferred from India. “She needed the money to clear the goods at the harbour, as she was facing financial difficulties to pay for import costs and customs. She informed Maharaja that she needed R6.2 million and for this, she showed him self claimed signed purchase order of the goods. Later she sent him what seemed to be a NetCare invoice and delivery note to convince him that goods were delivered and payment was proximate,” said Natasha Kara, spokesperson of NPA.

Divya Kumari

Journalist, Goa Chronicle

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