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Msimangu plans to retire "into a community" where he will be able to live the life of an ascetic. He will "forswear the world and all possessions;" it is "the first time that a black man (has) done such a thing in South Africa." Msimangu has saved a little money, and, as he has no relatives who depend on him, and with the permission of the Church, he gives the full amount of his savings to Kumalo. This money will help Kumalo "with all the money (he has) spent in Johannesburg, and all the new duties (he has) taken up" in shouldering responsibility for his sister, and the wife and child of his son Absalom, who is most likely soon to be executed. Msimangu tells Kumalo that as soon as the clergymen hear whether "mercy" will be granted to his son by the Governor-General-in-Council, one of them will let him know; if the decision is against the boy, one of them will go to be present with Absalom on the day of execution, and notify Kumalo when it is done (Chapter 29).
Msimangu, a self-professed "weak and sinful man" upon whom God has put His hand, has kindly guided Kumalo in his search for his sister and his son. More knowledgeable than his rural counterpart about the turbulent political and social situation in South Africa, Msimangu helps Kumalo navigate the unfamiliar environment of the city. He does everything he can to alleviate the pain the old man must suffer because of the troubles that have overtaken his family members since they left the quiet but barren village of Ndotsheni.
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