The Info List - Pixley Ka Isaka Seme

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Columbia University Jesus College, Oxford

Occupation Attorney

Pixley ka Isaka Seme
Pixley ka Isaka Seme
(c. 1881[1] – June 1951) was one of the first black lawyers in South Africa
South Africa
(Alfred Mangena was the first black attorney, Duma Nokwe the first black advocate), and a founder and President
of the African National Congress.


1 Early life 2 Politics 3 Personal life 4 Notes 5 References 6 External links

Early life[edit] Seme was born in the area that would come to be known as Daggakraal,[2][3] 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). He attended Adams College
Adams College
which was part of the mission. His mother was a sister of John Langalibalele Dube, and descended from a local chief.[4] 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
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
South Africa
in 1910, and began to practice as a lawyer in Johannesburg. Politics[edit] In 1911, Seme established the South African
South African
Native Farmers Association[5] in order to encourage black farm workers to buy land in the 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 Africa.[3][6] 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
South African
Native National Congress, later renamed the African National Congress.[3][7][8] 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
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
Mohandas Gandhi
with South African
South African
Indians. He was a great soldiers Personal life[edit] 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,[3] and to Lozinja, daughter of Swazi King Mbandzeni. Notes[edit]

^ 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 2013.  ^ 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
South African
Broadcasting Corporation. 2012-03-31. Archived from the original on 2017-08-20. Retrieved 2017-05-15.  ^ Yende, Sizwe Sama (2014-06-05). "Going home 20 years later: Everything–and nothing–changes". News24. Retrieved 2017-05-15.  ^ Odendaal, Andre (1984). Black Protest Politics in South Africa
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. ([1929] 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.

External links[edit]

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.

v t e

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

Deputy President

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

National Conferences

38th (1949) 39th (1950) 40th (1951) 41st (1952) 42nd (1953) 43rd (1954) 44th (1955) 45th (1957) 46th (1958) 47th (1959) 48th (1991) 49th (1994) 50th (1997) 51st (2002) 52nd (2007) 53rd (2012) 54th (2017)

Structure and wings

ANC Today ANC Women's League ANC Youth League National Executive Committee Radio Freedom Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College Umkhonto we Sizwe

Allied organisations

Congress of South African
South African
Trade Unions South African
South African
Communist Party


Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 5734616 LCCN: n92041972 ISNI: 0000 0000 3238 7503 GND: 119144891 SUDOC: 086207725 BNF: