Dumasile (Duma) Nokwe was born in South Africa in 1927. Translated into English, Dumasile means “thunder on a cloudless day”. True to his name Nokwe became an exemplary leader for change during an exceptionally challenging period within the country. With teachers and leaders such as Oliver Thambo and Walter Sisulu by his side, he played an integral part in the resistance against the apartheid government and dedicated his life to ensure our Constitutional rights and freedoms that he did not live to enjoy.

Overcoming many obstacles, he first obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in 1949 and later, a LLB degree in 1955. Nokwe was then admitted as an advocate and was enrolled as a member of the Johannesburg Society of Advocates on the 9th of March 1956. Poetically, Nokwe became the first black advocate to be admitted to the Bar.


Due to his illustrious history, the name “Duma Nokwe” has come to symbolise a relentless and steady fight for equality. The values for which he fought run through the veins of the Group and constitute the lifeblood for which we were formed.

From its inception in 2003, the Duma Nokwe Group of Advocates established itself as a pillar for transformation at the Bar as was envisaged by its founding members, namely Patric Mtshaulana SC, Kameshni Pillay SC, Terry Motau SC, William Mokhari SC and Dabi Kumalo SC. Our commitment to the principles for which Duma Nokwe lived and died remains unbowed.