Nathan, Manfred

views updated


NATHAN, MANFRED (1875–1945), South African lawyer, author, and communal leader. Born in Hanover (South Africa), the son of a German pioneer in the Cape, Nathan practiced at the Johannesburg Bar. He served for a time on the Natal Bench and became president of the South African Special Income Tax court in 1931. An assiduous writer on legal and constitutional subjects, Nathan was the author of a four-volume work, The Common Law of South Africa (1904–09) and the studies The South African Commonwealth (1919) and Empire Government (1928). Among his many other writings were a life of President Paul Kruger, an autobiography, Not Heaven Itself (1944), and several works on South African history. Nathan was active in Jewish communal life. He was a founding member of the Transvaal Jewish Board of Deputies (1903) and was president in 1905 and 1907. He was on the first executive of the South African Board of Deputies (1912) and vice president of the South African Zionist Federation (1904–1907).

Nathan was also active in politics and was elected to municipal and provincial legislative bodies in the Transvaal, and served on the boards of educational institutions and hospitals.


G. Saron and L. Hotz (eds.), The Jews in South Africaa History (1955), index.

[Louis Hotz]