Jesus College, Oxford
Pixley ka Isaka Seme
Pixley ka Isaka Seme (c. 1881 – June 1951) was one of the first
black lawyers in
South Africa (Alfred Mangena was the first black
Duma Nokwe the first black advocate), and a founder and
President of the African National Congress.
1 Early life
3 Personal life
6 External links
Seme was born in the area that would come to be known as
Daggakraal, in what was then called the Colony of Natal, at the
Inanda mission station of the American Zulu Mission of the American
Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. He graduated from Mount
Hermon School, MA, in 1902 (now the Northfield Mount Hermon School).
Adams College which was part of the mission.
His mother was a sister of John Langalibalele Dube, and descended from
a local chief. At 17 years of age Seme left to study in the U.S.,
first at the Mount Hermon School and then Columbia University. In
1906, his senior year at University, he was awarded the Curtis Medal,
Columbia's highest oratorical honor. He subsequently decided to become
an attorney. In October 1906 he was admitted to
Oxford University to
read for the degree of Bachelor of Civil Law; while at Oxford he was a
member of Jesus College.
Seme returned to
South Africa in 1910, and began to practice as a
lawyer in Johannesburg.
In 1911, Seme established the
South African Native Farmers
Association in order to encourage black farm workers to buy land in
Daggakraal area, and thus attain personal independence.
Consequently, this led the white government to enact the Natives Land
Act of 1913, barring black people from owning land in South
In response to the formation of the Union of South Africa, Seme worked
with several other young African leaders recently returned from
university studies in England, Richard Msimang, George Montsioa and
Alfred Mangena, and with established leaders of the South African
Native Convention in
Johannesburg to promote the formation of a
national organization that would unify various African groups from the
separate colonies. In January 1912, these efforts bore fruit with the
founding meeting of the
South African Native National Congress, later
renamed the African National Congress.
Seme was also the lawyer of Queen Regent Labotsibeni of Swaziland,
through whom the first ANC newspaper Abantu-Batho was financed. Later,
in 1922, Seme accompanied King
Sobhuza II as part of a delegation to
London to meet British authorities and the King regarding the land
proclamation in Swaziland.
Seme's nationalist organizing among Africans paralleled the
contemporaneous efforts of
Mohandas Gandhi with
South African Indians.
He was a great soldiers
Seme was very close to the Zulu and Swazi royal families. This is
primarily symbolized by his marriage to Phikisele Harriet Dinizulu,
the daughter of Zulu king Dinuzulu, and to Lozinja, daughter of
Swazi King Mbandzeni.
^ The birthdate is Seme's personal estimate at the time of his
application to Mount Hermon.
^ "Pixley Ka Seme stature unveiled". SABC News.com. Retrieved 21 April
^ a b c d Samayende, Sizwe (2004-01-12). "Struggle hero honoured".
News24. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
^ (Smith 1952)
^ "Pixley Ka Seme stature unveiled".
South African Broadcasting
Corporation. 2012-03-31. Archived from the original on 2017-08-20.
^ Yende, Sizwe Sama (2014-06-05). "Going home 20 years later:
Everything–and nothing–changes". News24. Retrieved
^ Odendaal, Andre (1984). Black Protest Politics in
South Africa to
1912. Totowa, NJ: Barnes & Noble Books.
^ Walshe, Peter (1970). The Rise of African Nationalism in South
Africa: The African National Congress, 1912-1952. Berkeley & Los
Angeles: University of California Press.
Bryant, A. T. ( 1965). Olden Times in Zululand and Natal. Cape
Town: C. Struik
Smith, Edwin W. (1952). The Life and Times of Daniel Lindley,
Missionary to the Zulus, Pastor of the Voortrekkers, Ubebe Omhlope.
New York: Library Publishers.
Seme. ANC Biography.
"Native Union". Article by Seme, in Imvo Zabantsundu, 24 October 1911.
"Formation of the African National Congress, 1912". Compiled by the
Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress.
African National Congress
1912–1915 S. T. Plaatje
1915–1917 R. V. S. Thema
1917–1919 S. Msane
1919–1923 H.L. Bud-M'belle
1923–1927 T. D. Mweli-Skota
1927–1930 E. J. Khaile
1930–1936 E. Mdolomba
1936–1949 James Calata
1949–1955 W. M. U. Sisulu
1955–1958 O. R. Tambo
1958–1969 P. P. D. Nokwe
1969–1991 A. B. Nzo
1991–1997 M. C. Ramaphosa
1997–2007 K. Motlanthe
2007–2017 G. Mantashe
2017–present E. S. Magashule
1912–1917 J. L. Dube
1917–1924 S. M. Makgatho
1924–1927 Z. R. Mahabane
1927–1930 J. T. Gumede
1930–1936 P. ka Isaka Seme
1937–1940 Z. R. Mahabane
1940–1949 A. B. Xuma
1949–1952 J. S. Moroka
1952–1967 A. J. Lutuli
1967–1991 O. R. Tambo
1991–1997 N. R. Mandela
1997–2007 T. M. Mbeki
2007–2017 J. G. Zuma
2017–present M. C. Ramaphosa
1952–1958 N. R. Mandela
1958–1985 O. R. Tambo
1985–1991 N. R. Mandela
1991–1994 W. M. U. Sisulu
1994–1997 T. M. Mbeki
1997–2007 J. G. Zuma
2007–2012 K. Motlanthe
2012-2017 M. C. Ramaphosa
2017-present D. D. Mabuza
Structure and wings
ANC Women's League
ANC Youth League
National Executive Committee
Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College
Umkhonto we Sizwe
South African Trade Unions
South African Communist Party
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