Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma has thanked the Indian community for its rich contribution, through culture and wisdom, towards the course of South African history.
On Monday, the President congratulated Indian people on their 150th anniversary since arriving in South Africa, as the first group of Indians arrived in the country on 16 November 1860.
"The Indian community has become engrained within the South African landscape. South Africa has been enriched by the beauty of their cultures, the wisdom of their religions, and the generosity of their peoples. We are delighted that while they are distinctly Indian, they remain proudly South African," said President Zuma.
Their move from being regarded as slaves to full and equal citizens of the country is intertwined with the struggle for freedom, Zuma said, adding that the names of Mac Maharaj, Dr Kesaveloo Goonam and Monty Naicker will always hold a special place in the collective memory of the country.
"They have played a vital role in making and shaping South African history. We cannot forget that one of the icons of the twentieth century, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, was nurtured by this country."
"We look forward to working closely together with the Indian community to build a brighter and better future for all South Africans," said the President.