"It is often asked when this will come to an end. But I think that it is wrong to think of land reform as a destination. Rather, it is a way of being in the world: a way of imagining the world. It is the rule of law that we should put at the centre of this new imagination.
In forging ahead with the struggle for a just society, we always look back to understand the present. We remember the words of the novelist, William Faulkner in Requiem for a Nun (1951) who writes “The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past.” And so today the cries of Sharpeville, of Langa and of Soweto reverberate with us once again. We should remember why this all started: with land."
On 13 October 2020 we welcomed leading South African lawyer and author Tembeka Ngcukaitobi SC for a keynote speech 'The Land is Ours': recovery and redistribution of communal land in post-colonial South Africa, where he spoke about the expropriation of land under Portuguese, Dutch and most significantly, British colonial rule in South Africa in the broader context of colonial injustice in the continent, and discuss what is being done in South Africa to seek redress through the Land Tribunal and national courts.
Read the full version of his key note speech here.
About Mishcon de Reya's Black History Month programme:
The programme, entitled "Colonial Amnesia: A Legal and Historical Review of the Afterlife of Britain's Rule in Africa", takes a critical look at the history and legacy of over two centuries of Britain's colonial rule in Africa. It explores alternative perspectives to the celebration of the British imperial age that our building, Africa House, represents.
We are proud to welcome a range of impressive speakers and experts to help us embark on a process of recovering lost memories of a frequently overlooked and misunderstood period, in doing so we hope to tap into a vibrant and dynamic intellectual space where history, law, race and culture combine to produce fresh ideas to challenge the toxic legacy of colonial injustice.