The Steve Biko Foundation will host a two–hour long dialogue with Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi about his new book, The Land is Ours on April 27 at the Steve Biko Centre in Ginsbuerg at 2pm.
Head of marketing and communications at the Steve Biko Foundation, Vuyo Mntonintshi,said the Foundation will host Ngcukaitobi on South African Freedom Day amidst continuous public debates, dialogue and discourse around the meaning of freedom 25 years into democracy, as well as heightened public discourse and debate around land expropriation without compensation in South Africa.
“The Land Is Ours tells the story of South Africa’s first black lawyers, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In an age of aggressive colonial expansion, land dispossession and forced labour, these men believed in a constitutional system that respected individual rights and freedoms, and they used the law as an instrument against injustice.”
Mntonintshi said the book follows the lives, ideas and careers of Henry Sylvester Williams, Alfred Mangena, Richard Msimang, Pixley ka Isaka Seme, Ngcubu Poswayo and George Montsioa, most of whom were also members of the ANC. It analyses the legal cases they took on, explores how they reconciled the law with the political upheavals of the day, and considers how they sustained their fidelity to the law when legal victories were undermined by politics.
“The Land Is Ours shows how these lawyers developed the concept of a Bill of Rights, which is now an international norm. Amid current suspicion of the Constitution and its protection of individual rights, the book clearly demonstrates that, from the beginning, the struggle for freedom was based on the ideas of constitutionalism and the rule of law,” she said.