Gandhi’s philosophy and practice of Satyagraha (holding onto truth) was based on three principles: fairness, pacifism and self-sacrifice. These principles would later inform activists in their protests against apartheid.
In August 1906, the British administration passed the Asiatic Law Amendment Ordinance to control entry of Indians into the Transvaal. This act sparked the first mass action, an eight-year-long passive resistance effort that would become known as the Satyagraha campaign. On 16 August 1908, Mohandas Gandhi and 3000 Muslims, Hindus and Christians gathered outside the Hamidia Mosque in downtown Johannesburg to burn their passes, which were at that time known as registration certificates.