Xolisa Phillip News editor

THE LAND IS OURS: South Africa’s First BlacK Lawyers and the Birth of Constitutionalism Tembeka Ngcukaitobi Penguin Random House   Cutting through the noise surrounding the land debate, Tembeka Ngcukaitobi skillfully delivers a harrowing and moving historical account of the economic devastation meted out to black South Africans from large-scale dispossession at the barrel of colonisers’ guns. He revisits the colonial-era laws and legislation that followed the formation of the Union of SA. They were used to ensure that black people were not only left landless but also locked out of the economy. In this important work — released in the middle of a raging land debate — Ngcukaitobi separates facts from myths. He also unpicks urban legends about ownership while debunking the concept of white meritocracy in SA. The structural pillars of the country’s economy were, after all, built on black suffering. Through the lens of examining key pieces of legislation, Ngcukaitobi uses his probing leg...

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