The Gandhi Statue in Pietermaritzburg is touching bronze sculpture, depicting Mahatma Gandhi in his prime - bare chested with a casual pair of wrap pants around him, and equally humble footwear. In his hand, he holds a simple walking stick, and his gaze is fixed determinedly ahead of him. The plaque on the side of the statue commemorates the centenary of an event that changed the mild mannered man into the well-known, and often revered, peaceful protester.
The events that inspired this statue took place in the Apartheid era, on the night of 7 June 1893. Gandhi stepped into a first class European compartment at Pietermaritzburg train station, and was asked to move, and go instead to the third class compartment, purely due to his darker skin colour. Upon his polite refusal, Gandhi was removed from the train, and he has cited numerous times that this incident directly influenced many of his principles from that day forth.
Indeed, this night and the events that transpired were the push Gandhi needed to peacefully fight against racial abuse in South Africa. After Gandhi established the roots of Satyagraha ('passive resistance'), he left for India to pursue the path of freedom, and remove India from grip of the British Empire. The Gandhi Statue is atop a plinth surrounded by wooden benches, which offer a fine view-point to reflect, and admire the craftsmanship that went into the statue's creation.