28 June 2001Will the real Alan Boesak please stand up?
|Alan Boesak -
(1945- ), South African minister of the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC), who rose to prominence in the troubled 1980s as an outspoken opponent of South Africa's system of apartheid, using his Church as a platform. He was born at Kahamas, and while at high school served as a sexton in his local DRC. He decided to make the Church his career and graduated from Belleville Theological Seminary in 1967. He became interested in politics and joined a radical group within the DRC, known as the Broederkring (Brother Ring), which aimed to reform the Church's policies towards race relations. At a meeting of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches in Ottawa, Canada, in 1982, he was unanimously elected its president; he introduced a motion that apartheid be declared a heresy against the gospel. In September 1982 he was elected Assessor of the Sendinkerk, the main Coloured (he himself a coloured) community church in Cape Town. He organized opposition to the proposals of President P. W. Botha for a three-chamber constitution that excluded representation for blacks and became a founder member of the United Democratic Front (UDF) that was launched in Cape Town in 1983 when he was elected a patron. In June 1984 Boesak was elected Senior Vice-President of the South African Council of Churches; in May 1985 he met Oliver Tambo and other exiled leaders of the African National Congress in Lusaka, Zambia. He travelled widely outside South Africa denouncing apartheid. In September 1986 he was elected Moderator of the Mission Church of the DRC. In 1990 he had a much-publicized affair with a 33-year-old television producer, Elna Botha, the niece of the former hardline politician and Cabinet member, Stoffel Botha; the affair became a cause célèbre and Boesak was obliged to resign as a minister and give up his other Church offices, though he continued his political career. In February 1995 he resigned from his ambassadorial posting in Geneva following a scandal about possible misuse of funds. His resignation allowed for a proper investigation to take place. He was cleared of stealing donors' money in April 1995, but left South Africa to teach theology in California. Boesak returned to Cape Town in March 1997 to face charges of theft and fraud, and was greeted with controversial demonstrations of support led by Dullah Omar, South Africa's Justice Minister.
"Boesak, Alan," Microsoft(R) Encarta(R) 99 Encyclopedia. (c) 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
First a priest with the Dutch
Reformed church, then an anti-apartheid activist, then a celebrated "liberation
warrior" who helped transform this country. Then disgraced, prisoned and
released. What happened here?
Boesak used his early days
out of prison as the ideal opportunity to blast the old government and
the apartheid fundamentals. What for, no-one knows as this war has been
fought and won. Why even mention the old days except for stirring up old
emotions and memories of those days. This didn't help his so-called claim
of innocence so now he's decided to turn on some of his compratiots. A
man from God, who knows the Bible and who claims to life by it and his
Seems certain people just can't do any wrong, or maybe it's true that the Capetonians are always "high" on something.
What a joke.