n Journal for Semitics - The situation of early Muslims in Pretoria - 1881-1899

Volume 16 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1013-8471


The Muslims came to Pretoria in 1881; after a lapse of 125 years not much of their history has been recorded. This article is an initial attempt to present an historical study of the Muslims in Pretoria from 1881 to 1899. The arrival of the early Muslims in Pretoria, the areas in which they settled and conducted their business activities and the agitation by European traders will be discussed. The petitions of the European traders led to the enactment of Act 3 of 1885, followed by the reaction from Muslim and European traders. The reaction from Muslim traders led to the amendment of Act 3 of 1885 and reasons why the ZAR government was unable to implement the act. The article then looks at the arbitration between the ZAR government and the British officials. This is followed by the Ismail Suleman & Co. test case, the Tayob Hajee Khan Mohamed court case and their respective results. The study on which this article is based showed that Muslims were an integral part of the economic growth and development of Pretoria. The article attempts to create an interest amongst historians and researchers to write about the Muslims of Pretoria, the former Transvaal and South Africa during the twentieth century.

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