290pp.,illus., paperback, Penguin, Cape Town
Pixley ka Isaka Seme (1881-1951) studied law at Columbia and Oxford and became the first black person to practice as an attorney in South Africa. He founded the South African Native Farmers Association in 1911 and the South African National Native Council, a precursor to the African National Congress (ANC) in 1912. He also established the Abantu-Batho newspaper. He was elected President General of the ANC in 1930. His presidency is often associated with the virtual collapse of the ANC at that time and he was replaced in 1937. By the time he died in 1951 he had become a discredited public figure with a record of scandal and controversy and had been struck off the role of attorneys.
"Pixley ka Isaka Seme, best known as founder of the ANC, has long needed a biography. This is it - well written, well researched, a fascinating account of the life of a flawed but hugely important figure." Dr Brian Willan, Rhodes University
Bongani Ngqulunga is a senior research associate at the University of Johannesburg. He also currently serves as chief of staff and spokesperson to President Jacob Zuma.