Durban, July 8: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not inaugurate the new Gandhi museum here during his visit to South Africa over the weekend as it had been planned, the country's media reported.
Ela Gandhi, the granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi who was part of South Africa's freedom struggle and a former African National Congress (ANC) MP, told the Daily News on Thursday (July 7) that the event had been scrapped because of security reasons. Earlier reports, however, said that a funding row had stopped completion of the high-profile project.
Gandhi, who is a member of the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Trust, said the PM's visit was very short and there was not enough time to carry out a security check, the report said. She added that the location of the museum is surrounded by buildings and hence there could be safety concerns.
Modi, however, would visit the historic Gandhi settlement in Phoenix, Ela's former constituency, though for a short tenure.
The museum, which will house memoribilia representing the mahatma's work in India and South Africa, was funded both by India and the KwaZulu-Natal governments in South Africa. The plan to set up a museum was conceived by the trust which was set up to look after two properties that were donated to the Natal Indian Congress by the Mahatma in 1913, before he left that country. The plan came up in 2009, the report said.
It also added that though the Indian government released the initial fundings for the project, the trust had failed to provide the neccesary documents for the release of the money in South Africa.