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Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

versión On-line ISSN 2412-4265
versión impresa ISSN 1017-0499

Studia Hist. Ecc. vol.37 no.1 Pretoria may. 2011


Minister Fraternal vis-à-vis Ecumenism: A close look at the confrontation between the South African Council of Churches and the then Bophuthatswana Ministers Fraternity (1976 - 1994)



Lazarus LebeloaneI; Mokhele MadiseII

IDepartment of Further Education,University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
IIDepartment of Christian Spirituality, Church History and Missiology, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa




During the rule of the National Party in South Africa, the Bantustans were founded on the basis of discrimination along the lines of race as well as ethnicity. At the same time, some were offered "independence" which to many Black South Africans was suicidal especially in respect of their human dignity. However, this did not end there as it also advocated territorial advancement along the same lines mentioned above. The ecumenical movement in South Africa then was vocal in respect of the socio, political, economic and religious injustices of the time. The founding of the "Independence of Bophuthatswana" also opened a window of "opportunity" for them to establish what they called Bophuthatswana Minister Fraternity. Its functions were in direct opposition to what the South African Council of Churches stood for and believed in. This article will examine the socio, political, economic and religious context of that time.



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Works consulted

A letter from the Ambassador of Bophuthatswana to the General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches, dated 16 March, 1982, unpublished.         [ Links ]

A profile on Winterveldt [undated and unpublished].         [ Links ]

Archdiocese of Pretoria Justice and Peace Commission report 1984. August.         [ Links ]

Bophuthatswana Constitution 1991. Unpublished.         [ Links ]

Chairman's report, Winterveldt Action Committee 1985, 4 March.         [ Links ]

Interview with Rev S Kgobokwe in Mafikeng. November 7, 2003.         [ Links ]

Interview with Rev D Atong in Mafikeng, November 7, 2003.         [ Links ]

Jones, PS 1999. "To come together for Progress": modernization and Nation-building in South Africa's Bantustan's periphery - the case of Bophuthatswana. Journal of Southern African Studies 98, 390-513.         [ Links ]

Madise, MJS 2005. Church and State Relations: The story of Bophuthatswana and its independence from 1977 to 1994. Unpublished Doctoral thesis. University of South Africa, Pretoria.         [ Links ]

Morongwa Bophuthatswana Newsletter 1981. Volume, 3(1), April.         [ Links ]

Seipone. Mirror National Newspaper 1993. Volume 4(26), Wednesday 14 July.         [ Links ]

The Southern Cross 1979. September 23.         [ Links ]

Winterveld Action Committee 1982. Minutes of the meeting.         [ Links ]

Internet reference

2011 A time of jubilee. Available: Accessed: 28 April.         [ Links ]

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