Apartheid or Apartness #4 Hangover of Church

What happened before: #3 Opposition and Escalation

7. Moving Reformed Church

Dutch Reformed Church

In 1982 at the 21st general council (Ottawa, Canada) the South African Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) became, suspended from WARC membership, at a time when the DRC sought to defend apartheid (“separate development”). {The World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) is the largest and oldest of the four international groupings of Reformed churches}

nelson mandela free

Liberationday of Nelson Mandela

The South African Council of Churches put more pressure on the South-African Christians and got a major role in the years up to Nelson Mandela’s liberation in 1991 and the forming of a movement for a renewed South Africa.

Major threats to a peaceful transition to multiracial democracy included the withdrawal of right-wing groups from constitutional talks, a newly established right-wing umbrella organization comprising neo-Nazi groups primed for violence, and a continuing and increasing level of violence, particularly in black areas.

Mission Church.jpg (26611 bytes)

Old Dutch Reformed Mission Church, built in 1889, declared a national monument in 1978 - Keimoes, Zuid-Afrika

The heresy of the theological justification of apartheid was the focus of a WARC consultation convened in March 1993 for branches of the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) family in southern Africa. Leading representatives of the church agreed that its renunciation of the theology of apartheid had to be exhibited in word and deed. DRC union with the Dutch Reformed Mission Church, the Dutch Reformed Church in Africa, and the Reformed Church in Africa-churches that had been created to divide believers of the Reformed tradition on lines of race was recognized as essential to demonstrate a genuine renunciation of the theological justification of apartheid. The executive committee of the WARC, a 1970 union of two earlier (Presbyterian and Congregational) fellowships, agreed to wait at least two years before considering reinstatement of the DRC to regular membership.

ANC Anniversary of Women's Day 1986 Remembering August 9, 1956 South African women demonstrated against the pass laws at Union Buildings in Pretoria

The joint awarding of the 1993 Nobel Prize for Peace to South Africa’s Nelson Mandela and Pres. F.W. de Klerk inspired hope in South Africa. The agreement of September 9 to establish a multiparty transition council of some 24 members with authority to oversee the operations of the police, the army, and the civil service, laid the groundwork for the African National Congress (ANC) call to end economic sanctions and provided the basis for the first non-racial elections on April 27, 1994. South Africa could take her seat again in UN General Assembly after 20-year absence.

8. Hangover

Nelson Mandela became the first black president, but had before already to face the problems with ANC and Zulu Inkatha movement and now was confronted with the problem of how to solve the previous apartheid executioners.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission, South Africa, 1996

In 1996 the Truth and Reconciliation Commission chaired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu began hearings on human rights crimes committed by former government and liberation movements during apartheid era. Its report brands apartheid a crime against humanity and finds the ANC also accountable for human rights abuses (1998).

In 1997 the WARC wanted to break the chains of injustice and knew that this would require repentance, careful analysis, global strategy, and common witness. The general council called the member churches of Alliance to engage at all levels of their life in a “processus confessionis”: a committed process of progressive recognition, education and confession regarding economic injustice and ecological destruction. In so doing, it adopted a position which elevated these questions from a merely moral or ethical level to the level of confession and faith.

With democracy in place, Archbishop Tutu's Truth and Reconciliation Commission probed atrocities - Zapiro

After 15 years the general council of the WARC found that it was time to review the position of the DRC. After lengthy discussions with the representatives of the DRC and the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa, and taking into account the positions of the WARC member churches in Southern Africa, it was resolved to lift the suspension, on condition that the DRC fulfilled the third and final requirement of Ottawa by rejecting apartheid as sinful in its fundamental nature. This the DRC did at its general synod in 1998.

In 2000 the Executive Committee of WARC made a declaration stating that homosexual persons ought not to be deprived of their human rights, so for South Africa this would have to mean that prosecution of those people would come to an end.

Copy of st p2secBasson5

Dr Wouter Basson is facing disciplinary hearing at the Health Professions Council of South Africa.

In 2002 a court acquitted Dr Wouter Basson – dubbed “Dr Death” – who ran apartheid-era germ warfare programme. Basson had faced charges of murder and conspiracy. Right-wing extremists continued their battle for the segregation and brought bomb explosions in Soweto and a blast near Pretoria.

May 2003 sees the dead of 91 year old Walter Sisulu, a key figure in the anti-apartheid struggle. Thousands gather to pay their last respects.

The 24th WARC general council (Accra 2004) had “That All may have Life in Fullness” as its theme. It took on the study on mission and the process of covenanting for justice in the economy and the earth.

In 2005 investigators exhumed the first bodies in a Truth and Reconciliation Commission investigation into the fates of hundreds of people who disappeared in the apartheid era. The rest of the world got more insight of what terrible things happened at the apartheid. But they also saw that more black Africans were going against white Africans. A lot of black Africans wanted revenge and it was no help that at regular intervals still racist incidents happened.

South African Human Rights Commission CEO, Tseliso Thipanyane, in an address to the media on racism early in 2008, admitted that talking about racism, especially as it affects blacks, had become unpopular. “Instead Blacks are encouraged to keep quiet about their experiences and move on.” He told journalist that South Africans “should not delude ourselves and think we are out of the [racism] woods.”


To be continued: 9. On the way to peace + 10. A spiral to choose


Please do find:

Nelson Mandela Online with Autobiography of Nelson Rolihlahla Dalibhunga Mandela AKA ‘Madiba’, plus:Biography, Quotes, Movies, Pictures, Timeline, Books, Trivia and Links

Healing Memories-Lessons to be learnt from the South African Experience, By Lilani Jayatilaka > A truth and reconciliation commission for Sri Lanka?

Council drops some Basson charges
Basson accepting his appointment by the surgeon-general of the SA Defence Force as the apartheid era germ warfare expert heading Project Coast.

Basson battles on
Cardiologist Dr Wouter Basson, who in the 1980s headed South Africa’s chemical and biological warfare programme, is seeking a discharge on four counts of unprofessional conduct before the Health Professions
Council of SA.
Basson unethically used his medical background and knowledge when he participated in the large scale manufacturing of teargas and drugs such as ecstasy and Mandrax; armed mortars with teargas; provided drugs for cross border kidnappings and provided operatives with cyanide for suicide purposes.


  • Doc Series ‘Have You Heard From Johannesburg’ Premieres on PBS 1/12 (Mixed Media) (popmatters.com)
    Describing the inception of the people’s movement in South Africa in the 1950s, Albertina Sisulu of the African National Congress, makes clear an overarching theme for Have You Heard From Johannesburg, namely, that this movement “has inspired every other people’s movement since,” including 2011’s Arab Spring and OWS. The history of the movement is chronicled in Connie Field’s sweeping documentary, featuring interviews with participants and an incredible collection of footage and photos.

    Watch Road to Resistance – A Preview on PBS. See more from Independent Lens.

  • Who dare speak for the poor and the unemployed – should it not be church and mosque? (chriskilo001.wordpress.com)
    Over the period 1991 to 2001 the Gini coefficient (relative inequality between the richest and poorest section of the population) for all population groups have worsened with the average Gini Coefficient being 0.68 in 1996 and rising to 0.77 in 2001.
    After 1994 the situation was even better for these religious organisations. They no longer had to spend their energy and resources on facing off against a hostile government. They could go back to being church and mosque and do the things that church and mosque do.
    They interact every Friday or Saturday or Sunday with these people who are poor and unemployed. I am pretty sure that some of these churches and mosques have food parcel programmes for the poor and destitute and others might even have full-scale social work projects. In the end however, it would seem all this work has not made a single difference to the macro economic factors that gave rise to this poverty in the first place.
    The writer of the article would be interested to see if the church has even began to debate and sought to understand how URCSA can participate in the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) processes. It was interesting that Steven Friedman made the point the other day that we cannot say BBBEE has failed, because we have not even tried it yet.
  • Apartheid – Critical to keep the President’s feet to the Constitutional fire (chriskilo001.wordpress.com)
    There are people in South Africa today who wants us to engage them as serious thinkers when they make statements around our Constitution and the role of judges in our country that can only mean they want the reintroduction of apartheid era judicial thinking and jurisprudence.
    We have all learnt and felt what could happen if governments are given free rein without an overarching set of values and principles that constrain the base impulses of politicians – we get something as horrible as apartheid.
  • ANC-regime wants to wipe every presence of Afrikaans from the SA map #1 History (marcusampe.wordpress.com)
  • 100 years old ANC having to face a new challenge of free people (marcusampe.wordpress.com)
  • Apartheid or Apartness #2 Up to 2nd part 20th Century (marcusampe.wordpress.com)
  • Stalinisation of SA starts in old Boer-era church (nolstuijt.wordpress.com)
    The first of many giant Stalinist-style posters was painted on Bloemfontein power-station’s cooling towers, showing the ‘first ANC-pres John Dube’. Similar posters are expected to go up throughout South Africa in the year-long celebrations.
    Peter Meintjes of Rivonia in Gauteng, have been identified as the owners of anti-white blogs such as ‘Shut Up Whitey” in which they openly incite racial hatred between the SA racial groups. They write with pennames such as ‘Rooster’ and own a number of blogs to conduct their activities from.
  • The renovated Dutch Reformed Church in Waaihoek, Bloemfontein, is expected to be handed over to the ANC this week. Photo: Michael Tlhakudi

    ANC church nearing completion for party (sowetanlive.co.za)
    Mangaung metro municipality earlier last year set aside R35-million for the renovation of the church that is expected to be turned into a national museum.

  • NZ apartheid activist joins ANC 100 year celebrations (nzherald.co.nz)
    As South Africa’s liberation party began its 100th-year celebrations last week, New Zealand activist David Wickham had the chance to join in and reflect on his part in the anti-apartheid movement.
  • S.Africa’s “Dr. Death” probed for apartheid past (ibtimes.com)
    Basson, now a cardiologist in Cape Town, has been acquitted in two of the highest profile trials of the post-apartheid era, where he was charged with assassinating opponents of the white-minority state, making illegal drugs and trying to sterilise blacks.
    Basson kept a black mamba, one of the world’s deadliest snakes, in his office to extract its venom. His laboratory was also said to contain whisky spiked with herbicide, chocolates poisoned with botulin and explosive washing powder.
    Basson denied responsibility for political assassinations carried out by agents using his toxins and said he was only following orders from senior government members.
  • South African scientist faces being struck off (telegraph.co.uk)
    He was acquitted of criminal wrong-doing on legal technicalities in a long-running criminal case but now faces being struck off for misconduct by the Health Professionals Council of South Africa.
  • ‘Dr Death’ faces S Africa charges (bbc.co.uk)

About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
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7 Responses to Apartheid or Apartness #4 Hangover of Church

  1. Pingback: Apartheid of rassenverschil systeem #4 Kater voor de kerk | Marcus' s Space

  2. Pingback: Apartheid or Apartness #5 Spiral of violence and destruction or of reconciliation and peace | Marcus' s Space

  3. Pingback: Apartheid of rassenverschil systeem #5 Staatsopdrachten en Spiralen van Geweld tegenover Spiralen van Vrede | Marcus' s Space

  4. Pingback: Apartheid or Apartness #6 Anno 2012 | Marcus' s Space

  5. Pingback: ANC Wil Afrikaans wissen #1 Land van dromen | Marcus' s Space

  6. Pingback: Politics And People’s Lives | Living History

  7. Pingback: Migrants to the West #9 Where they came from | Marcus' s Space

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