Institutional Repository

C.M. Doke Collection (DCAS Acc 385)

UnisaIR/Manakin Repository

C.M. Doke Collection (DCAS Acc 385)


The CM Doke Collection of personal letters from MK Gandhi has been entrusted to the Library of the University of South Africa (Unisa) by Dr Eunice Marion van den Aardweg who is the daughter of Professor Clement Martyn Doke and the granddaughter of the well-known Baptist minister and biographer of MK Gandhi, the Reverend Joseph John Doke. The friendship between the Doke and Gandhi families began in February 1908 when Doke offered to care for Gandhi at the Baptist manse after he had been severely assaulted and left unconscious by Pathan Indians on Von Brandis Square in Johannesburg. The militant group thought Gandhi and the resistance leaders had surrendered to the Transvaal Government by registering their fingerprints. They did not realise that Gandhi's actions were dictated by principle. Gandhi never forgot the love and kindness of the Doke family who nursed him. Always interested in helping the underprivileged, Doke became deeply concerned about the welfare of Indians in South Africa. In 1909 he published MK Gandhi: An Indian Patriot in South Africa with a foreword by Lord Ampthill. The biography was translated into several languages. From July to December 1909, Doke edited the weekly newspaper, Indian Opinion, which supported the battle for civil rights for the Indian community in South Africa. The correspondence and printed materials in the Scrapbook reflect the friendship between the Gandhi and Doke families which spanned generations and decades. This collection is housed in the Documentation Centre for African Studies, Archives, Main Library, level 2.

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