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Phathekile Holomisa is the most eloquent and alert writer on traditional society in South Africa today. He writes beautifully and his book has to be essential to any understanding of how modern South Africa functions. 

— Peter Bruce, Editor, Business Day

Book information

ISBN: 978-0-9870347-8-6

Trim size: 230 x 150mm

Binding: paperback

Page count: 250

Imagery: None

Price: R275.00

Genre: Cultural history

Publication date: June 2012 (2nd edition)



According to Tradition is a collection of columns, originally published under the title ‘Inside Tradition’ in Business Day. In this thoughtful compilation, Holomisa provides a compelling indigenous African perspective on contemporary issues and resurrects traditional values as a framework for an alternative view on current affairs in South Africa.

This 2nd edition includes all of the original columns plus nine additional chapters, which feature speeches made to various organisations and articles published in Business Day, the Natal Witness and the Daily Dispatch.


Sango Phathekile Holomisa (Ah! Dilizintaba)

Sango Phatekile Holomisa (Ah! Dilizintaba) was born on August 26, 1959, at Ngqungqu Great Place, Mqanduli, Transkei, in the Eastern Cape. His parents were the late Nkosi Mathathisa Moses Holomisa (Ah! Jongisizwe) and Nkosikazi Nokuphila Phyllis Holomisa (Ah! Noumile) of the Hegebe Clan of the Thembu Nation. He attended primary and secondary school in the Transkei, completed his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Transkei (now Walter Sisulu University) and graduated with a Bachelor of Laws degree at the University of Natal (now University of KwaZulu-Natal). He is an advocate of the High Court of South Africa and a founder member of the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (NADEL). He joined the ANC in 1985 and has been a member of Parliament since 1994. He is Head of the Hegebe Traditional Council and was President of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) from 1990 to 2013, an organisation he joined in 1989. In 2002, he was elected chairperson of the Southern African Development Community Council of traditional leaders (SADCCTL). Holomisa is currently the South African Deputy Minister of Labour.