In Cry, The Beloved Country, Paton writes about Stephen Kumalo 's brother John Kumalo who moves to Johannesburg to start a business. He soon becomes the mouthpiece for a black rights ' movement, but he is then revealed to be corrupted and to have committed adultery. He is presented as an allegory for the corrosive effect of Johannesburg, signifying that no matter how powerful you are, its vices will eventually affect you.
John is not important as he has abandoned his morals in the pursuit of affluence. John is ready to sacrifice Absalom, his nephew 's life to save his son, who is not innocent. John is ready to forgo his blood relations for himself. It may be argued that John 's actions are justified, that his son is of a closer blood relation to himself than his nephew. However, John is an activist for black labourers ' rights, yet he lets his son work at a textiles company in Doornfontein. This shows that he does not really care about his son at all, that his activism is merely a way for him to become even more rich. Hence, it may be concluded that John wants his son to be proven innocent because if he is proven guilty, John 's public image will be tarnished. John 's motivations are not influenced by a love for his family at all, but because he wants to preserve his material possessions. This makes him an unimportant man as a man that does not have any grounded roots cannot inspire others and make others his followers.
John is important in the material sense of the