By Nomali Cele
Another prominent figure featured in Tembeka Ngcukaitobi’s “The Land Is Ours” is Richard Msimang. As with his other contemporaries, Msimang used his law education to document and comment on how South Africa’s white minority government was excluding and harming the majority. Offering legal counsel to Africans and thought leadership on issues of the day, Msimang went on to political and journalistic activities.
Who was Richard Msimang?
Richard Msimang was one of the first students at Ohlange High School in Inanda. As you would know, this school was founded by John Langalibalele Dube who was an activist and the cousin of Pixley ka Isaka Seme.
Msimang was the first African from South Africa to be a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Judicature in England after mastering the philosophy of English law.
Richard Msimang’s father, Joel Msimang, founded the Independent Methodist Church of Africa.
After returning to South Africa, Msimang became one of the founding figures, led by Seme, of the South African Native National Congress (SANNC)
When the Natives Land Act of 1913, which formally put into effect the dispossession of African people, was passed, Msimang Sol Plaatje travelled to rural areas documenting how the Act was affecting the people for the SANNC.