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Publication Date: July 2018
What I saw during the time I was employed at the Pass Office – I mean the illtreatment of Africans – affected my heart and stirred my soul … I would be of some service to my down-trodden people.
Richard Victor Selope Thema was Chairperson of the committee that drew up a new constitution for the South African Native National Congress, the first editor of The Bantu World (now The Sowetan), and served on the Native Representative Council (NRC). Thema was also one of the first black men to visit England in 1919 to intervene on black South Africans’ behalf.
This book, in Thema’s own words, recounts his early life and charts his thinking and writing from radical to passivist – Thema believed that almost everything could be solved by negotiation and talking, and some in the ANC did not agree with him. He is an intellectual forefather of both the ANC Youth league and the Pan-Africanists of the 1950s, and one of the forgotten leaders of the ANC.
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