oa South African Medical Journal - Chota Motala: A Biography of Political Activism in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, Goolam Vahed - book review

Volume 108 Number 11
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



If you drive through Pietermaritzburg on the main N3 highway you will inevitably drive under a large interchange with the sign Dr Chota Motala Road. Few people in Pietermaritzburg, and indeed South Africa (SA), know about the man behind the name. This book sets the record straight. Written by Goolam Vahed, who is professor of history at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, it begins with the upbringing of Chota Motala in Dundee, Northern Natal, and his subsequent education at a Sastri college in Durban before going to study medicine in India. After qualifying at the Grant Medical School in Bombay he returned to SA, where he opened a general practice in Pietermaritzburg.

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