Tag Archive: Frank Chikane


chik

This is the last part i want to share from this book, but once again suggest that you grab a copy and read it in its entirety, especially if you are a white South African trying to get a fuller education of this country’s history.

This is a letter that Frank Chikane wrote on the 26th June 1986 that is addressed to the Institute For Contextual Theology but would have done well to land in the hand of every pastor in every church at that time. What is incredible is seeing the alternative response of violence he feared might be the inevitable solution [and breathe deeply on how we somehow managed to avoid that] and to ask what type of letter might be written today which should be placed in the hands of every pastor and Chris-following leader across the land with reference to unity and reconciliation and restitution and justice and more…

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Dear Friends,

Events have been happening so fast that it looks like ages after one had visited Europe. Maybe it is because since the last three weeks or so the whole face of South Africa has changed radically. Suddenly people can be detained and kept in prison indefinitely or for periods of six months for no particular crime or misdeed. If a policeman thinks you should be removed, he can do so without explaining his action.

No publication of names of those who is detained is allowed. Even passing information from one family member to another about a detained brother or sister could constitute an offence. And in all this, one has no recourse to a court of law or justice. Because of this strange new face of South Africa, many people have disappeared and it is very difficult now to make out whether some are in detention, in hiding, dead or have left the country. Those who have some information, those who have seen residents in the township gunned down along the streets, cannot make their witness known.

This brings us to the witness of the Church in South Africa. Is it still possible under the circumstances where no one is allowed by ‘law’ to critique the regime, its State of Emergency, and its security forces? Is it still possible to be a conscience of the State? Is it still possible to minister effectively to the black masses of South Africa who are victims of this system when one cannot talk about their suffering, pain and death? When one cannot even talk about the evil that is responsible for this death? The Catholic Church cannot even announce that its General Secretary, so and so, is detained or deported. The Evangelical Presbyterian Church cannot even announce that its Moderator, so and so, is detained. How does the Church carry lout its mission under the circumstances?

Given this set-up, the people of South Africa, especially the victims, are looking forward to the Church as their only Salvation at this stage. Is it possible that the Church could go on according to the emergency regulations, where using a descriptive word (adjective) would fall within the law? Or is the Church going to submit and be quiet? Is this not the time when the whole church should go to prison and join the people there rather than imprison itself by subjecting itself to these regulations? Is this not the time when the Church should say now in a louder voice than ever before that ‘WE MUST OBEY GOD RATHER THAN MEN’ (Acts 5.29) – when the Church is faced with this kairos in the country and in its history? Shouldn’t the Church review what the Lordship of Christ means at this stage?’

This is the time, the moment of truth. As the Kairos Document says that there is ‘no place to hide and no way of pretending to be what we are not in fact. At this moment in South Africa, the Church is about to be shown up for what it really is and no cover-up will be possible’ (p.1).

Most of you will remember that I said after the end of March that if the Botha regime did not accede to the demands of the people, there will be only two options in the offing for us, that, either the International Community (particularly the USA, the UK, West Germany, France, Switzerland, and Japan) put pressure on South Africa to change peacefully by taking to the people’s leadership, or the other option which is too ghastly to contemplate: direct violent confrontation between the forces of apartheid and the oppressed masses of South Africa. This will be brutal, merciless and cost millions in life, leaving a trail of maimed people and a devastated country. A determination of the people to die for their freedom and the determination of the regime to preserve white domination and apartheid at all costs spell only death and death ahead.

The tragedy of our situation is that the five Western countries I referred to above and Japan have come out clearly that they are not going to apply pressure on their partner in the oppression and exploitation of the black people of South Africa. The fact is that, unless these Western powers and Japan are pressured by their own people, who must also be prepared to sacrifice in this regard, they are not going to move on a purely moral basis. Where capital, profits and power are involved, there is no room for morality!

This leaves us with the option I said is ‘too ghastly to contemplate’. This option has already been embarked on and the world is going to see the type of violence it has never seen before in the days ahead of us. Maybe we, as South Africans, are caled to face this reality. May God help us to die in faith with a clear goal in mind, the Kingdom of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Belonging to the one Body of Christ, we are looking forward to your solidarity, support and prayers in this regard.

Your fellow brother in Christ

Frank Chikane (Rev.)

General Secretary

NB: Letter written from the Wilderness. Is it not in Midian, or is it here in the land of my birth? Or have we already moved to the west side of the wilderness, and come to Horeb, ‘the mountain of God’, to be reckoned with God? Yes, it is real wilderness away from the family, friends, with no freedom to walk along the streets of the country of one’s birth.

[To return to the start of this series, click here]

chik

i love love love this piece on Christians not being saved to relax and enjoy the Kingdom of God while living in the midst of chaos in the world:

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To be a Christian…

We need to be alive to the reality that Jesus could not have established the church without dying on the cross and being raised again. Thus, the church was born in a struggle of life and death and is plunged into this struggle to work for the Kingdom of God. To be Christian is not to relax and enjoy the Kingdom of God in the midst of sin, corruption, oppression and death. To be Christian means to engage in the struggle for righteousness against unrighteousness, the struggle for justice against injustice, the struggle to save the world. Any view of Christian life without engaging in struggle cannot be compatible with the work of the Lord on the cross. Our mission as Christians is to engage in acts of salvation for the world in the name of Him who died for it. We are called to proclaim the good news of salvation to the world.

[page 84]

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So as followers of Jesus, we can’t not be involved in the societal woes that surround us and yet far too often we choose to ‘protect ourselves’ in the bubble of religious life and activity and keep an active distance from the often overwhelming struggles that are taking place outside our doors.

A little bit later in the book Frank takes it further with this:

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This brings us to an expression quoted by one of the participants at a workshop on the Kairos document in Zurich, Switzerland, in the process of grappling  with the kairos of the Western Church, of Western Christians. The statement was expressed in the following way:

… our problem is that we are stuck with love and charity in our response to the evils of this world rather than justice. We in the West are compelled by love, Christian love and concern about the brutality of some of the systems in the Third World, we are moved by the hunger and poverty to give charity. But we never go beyond charity to justice.

The implications of this statement became very clear to the group. Giving charity was seen as necessary to save lives in these devastated areas of oppression and exploitation and to alleviate pain and suffering. But it was noted that this good, generous activity on its own cannot resolve the fundamental problem. It remains an ‘ambulance’ ministry to help save the victims of a vicious system. To participate in the ministry of addressing the fundamental problem, Christians in the West must engage in the struggle to uproot the foundations of this problem, which are mainly based in their countries. They must have a deliberate programme of action as part of their confession and their commitment to the gospel. To put it in crude terms, terms that are threatening to some people, they too must engage in a liberation struggle to redeem and free themselves of this subtle system which benefits them, directly or indirectly making them partners in this primary sin.

Churches need to begin to challenge the bankers at their home base. They need to challenge business people, corporations, governments and para-state institutions at their home base. They need to challenge their membership and raise their consciousness about this sin and equip them with better, more critical theological tools to detect it. Christians and committed people at grassroots also need to undertake campaigns to mobilise their people to deal with this problem from below. It seems to me that this is going to become increasingly the most effective way of expressing solidarity in action and struggle, rather than necessarily stopping the attack of apartheid at the frontline of the battleground (i.e. South Africa itself). Our solidarity, our sharing of the same body of Christ, our ecumenism, will be expressed in this common action of faith on all fronts of this war (struggle) against evil and injustice in the world. Our unity in Christ can only be unity in action, united action in struggle; it cannot be a unity that leaves the very structures of oppression intact.

[page 176-178]

[For the next passage dealing with Violence Avoided, click here]

[For some thoughts and shares from Antjie Krog’s ‘Begging to the Black’, click here]

chik

My wife, tbV, has a thing about having a thing about buying me presents, maintaining that i am the hardest person to buy for [mostly cos if i want or need something i often just go and buy it myself]. But for my birthday this year she got it spot on – two books about South Africa by South Africans. The first one i read was Better to be Black by Antjie Krog which i wrote a number of posts about which are well worth taking in if you haven’t yet. i took a break in between [of sorts] and read ‘The Lemon Tree’ by Sandy Tolan to try and educate myself on the Palestinian/Israeli conversation/journey. Then i moved on to Frank Chikane’s revised and updated edition of his autobiography, ‘No Life of My Own’ which was initially published in 1988 during the final throes of apartheid.

The main reason for wanting to read books about South Africa by South Africans is that i was fed a largely one-sided history while at school and grew up in a not-very-political family, and so i have a lot to learn and as someone who is wanting to have an impact in South Africa, learning a more accurate story about our country seems like the best place to start. Next up is ‘I write what I Like’ by Steve Biko which i am waiting for a friend to drop off and always open to more suggestions.

‘No Life Of My Own’ was an interesting book to read because the author ‘Frank Chikane’ feels like a name i know quite well, but on reflection, realised i didn’t know much about him at all. It was also really helpful reading a book, where at the time of writing, the author didn’t know how the story was going to progress.

Let me let his back cover tell you what it’s about: ‘Beginning with his childhood growing up black under an oppressive system, and continuing through to his call to the Christian ministry, Frank Chikane tells of his family’s increasing involvement in the struggle against apartheid, the disapproval and suspension he faced from his own church, and the harrowing detention, harassment, torture and exile he endured. Chikane relates his return to South Africa, despite the threat of further detention and death, to continue the fight for freedom. Through it all one thing remains clear: this is a man whose faith compels and sustains him in a courageous and selfless journey towards freedom.’ 

Not as many folded corner pages, which is usually the sign of a book that has deeply affected me, but then this was largely story and so it was more about listening and trying to really hear than being inspired by teachable thoughts. Definitely worth a read though and have one or two extracts i do want to share in the next while… One of the most interesting parts of Frank’s story is the part where the apartheid government actually put poison into his clothes during a flight [via his luggage] which almost killed him – to the point where a priest in the US was brought in to administer last rites, and yet he made a miraculous recovery and was given the chance of continuing his life journey.

For white friends in South Africa in particular, who might be trying to broaden the hue of written thought they are exposed to, No Life of My Own is a worthwhile read in that regard.

Alexa

Mamelani. Listen Up.  Kom ons Luister… all of us.

If I had the mic for just a moment, and the audience was a country that I am yearning to see at peace and functional and prosperous – what would I want to say?  In just 3 – 5 points?

This should be so easy and yet the noise in my head has made this complex.  This is my start actually.

There is too much noise.  We shout at each other: based on skin, class and gender.  We assume agendas: religious, political and economic. We let the preconceived unspoken perceptions and understandings of the other – whoever the other is – control our interactions, whether on social media, in face to face (oh that there were more) dialogues with ‘the other’ and in the positions we take when we are with people who think and talk like us. My first thing I wish we would do is quieten so that we can hear each other without prejudice.

  • Hear each other’s questions
  • Hear each other’s frustrations & anger & hurt
  • Hear each other’s hopes and dreams and desires

In quietening I have learnt about the pain and trauma people close to me have experienced – because of losing their family homes (these are my peers & not ‘some random people who must get over it’), because of family members being treated in ways that still carry deep wounds.  We can’t change this part of our history but by acknowledging the pain of this and being willing to really listen and say “I am sorry that you had to go through that, it wasn’t right”, we might begin to see each other.

I have also witnessed people express that they didn’t know.  And while some may say that there is NO excuse, people genuinely still live in ignorance of the stories of the other.  I have seen grown men weep in response to movies like RED DUST (based on the TRC) who really didn’t know; whose narratives weren’t questioned.

In doing this I am fairly convinced that we would find each other and then actually have a chance of getting somewhere peacefully, functionally and in a way that prospers us as a nation.

It is 21 years since our first “free & fair elections” happened – in which a nation was taken across a bridge but the systems weren’t really.  The longer I sit with this notion (the words of which are Frank Chikane’s not mine), the more I think about what does this mean for my life story – but also what does that mean for someone who is effectively free in theory but the structures keep them, in their life story, stuck on the other side of the proverbial bridge.   21 is often seen as a coming of age – My second wish is that as a country we come of age to a place where we can look at the bridge and figure out who sits where on it.  Without it becoming a place where people defend& attack rather than listen to each other.  Where we can all acknowledge that race, gender and class put us in different positions of power and privilege on this bridge – and that brings with it some responsibility to get the rest of us across the bridge too.

Maybe it’s time to challenge and acknowledge the objective and subjective realities that people, all of us, find ourselves in? This challenge isn’t about “guilting” anyone but rather acknowledging that it does exist.

Lastly, I would hope that each person adopts an attitude of every life matters – so that each person knows that they have worth: That the inherent dignity of each person is honoured.  That this forms a ripple effect in our education policies, in our safety and security and health and welfare policies.  That in speaking to people, rather than ‘them’ or ‘they’ regardless of who they are (rich, poor, coloured, indian, black or white), that we are able to see value in each other’s story.  Even if it’s foreign to us.  Even if it feels like it doesn’t fit with what we have experienced.  I would hope that as we start counting all life as valuable, that our systems can be transformed, that our economic policies are ethical and that each of us can be heard.

[For more from Alexa, head on over to her blog over here: theoutrageousintrovert.wordpress.com]

[To hear what Sindile has to say to South Africa in 2015, click here]

Tutu and No_bob

 

Continuing with my share from  ‘Revisiting The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Faith Community Hearing’ as we look at some of the messages that came out of the second day:

FROM THE TWITTERER [Day 1 of 2]

While 140 character messages don’t capture the whole of what was experienced, hopefully they will help you to catch a bit of a glimpse:

General buzz in the air. Today it is a lot of testimony from other faith groups so should be interesting.

In our hunger for reconciliation maybe justice was held at bay. Economic justice. Restitution.

It’s as if, with the advent of democracy, we gave our mission and ministry to the government.

Without love, without justice, without genuine fairness, there can be no reconciliation.

 

Thulani Ndlanzi (Cong): we have promoted a non-racial community rather than a multi-racial community.

 [Thulani Ndlanzi just raised the bar with that presentation recognising so many vital local issues.]

 

Have we lost our minds? Link back to earlier devotion. Where we have grown complacent and normalized injustice.

 

 [Really enjoying Thulani Ndlanzi. Speaking it like it is. ‘it should be a given that when we drafting laws we focus on women’s rights.’]

Thulani Ndlanzi: We need to bring God back into schools. What good is it to have a good mathematician with no ethics?

Thulani Ndlanzi: What good is it to produce a great scientist who has no morals?

 

Nadine Bowers du Toit (TEASA): South Africans for the most part seem to have a love hate relationship with reconciliation.

 

Brigalia Bam (SACC): Quoting Mandela – You will need to re-interpret your theology that allowed you to accept apartheid.

Brigalia Bam quoting Mandela -Now is not the time for the churches to return to the cosiness of the sanctuary.

 

Malusi Mpumlwana (SACC): We hear more about social cohesion than we do about national reconciliation.

 

Hlengiwe Mkhize [panel]: Reconciliation is a generational issue.

 

Wow, Thandile Khona, black guy, really giving it to the Muslims in terms of black inclusion within Muslim leadership.

Thandile Khona is President of Muslim Youth Movement. Really interested to hear what Maulana Abdul Khaliq Allie has to say next.

Maulana Abdul Khaliq Allie (Sect Gen Muslim Traditional Council): We believe South Africans are waiting on the religious leaders today.

Maulana Abdul Khaliq Allie: As a religious community we have to be critical of our govt when it comes to corruption.

 

Yasmin Sooka: We all have our internal contradictions & in religion this often relates to how do we treat those who are different.

 

 [Really interesting session listening to the muslim representatives. Some great points.]

 

Nalini Gangen (Maha Sabha) just made it clear that all Indians should not be seen through the lens of that one family. #GuptasArentUs

Nalini Gangen: Hindu marriage not being recognised. Sale of house documents for eg would reflect them as unmarried.

Nalini Gangen: How we react to what happens and is happening is based on what we have seen.

 

Reuben Shapiro from South African Jewish Voices for a Just Peace. This just got political. Gaza statement happening.

Reuben Shapiro – The Jewish voice in South Africa is not homogenous.

 

Big moment of humour as Tutu goes to a mic way too high for him and does a huge jump ‘to reach it’. [TbV hysterical].

 

 Tutu recounting story of man being tortured – ‘These are God’s children & they need me to help them recover the dignity they are losing.’

Tutu: As we listen i hope we hear more than just the words. That we remember that we are surrounded by some incredible people.

 [Inspirational break as Tutu gets up and recounts some stories of some of the people in the room.]

 

The post apartheid generation. Not sure where the segregation comes from. We need to create spaces to share our stories.

 

Frank Chikane: The job is not yet finished. South Africa has a long way to go to deal with the pain of the past. Black and white pain.

 

Imam Rashied Omar – It’s not the job of the state to do forgiveness.

Rashied Omar: Bicycle theology. You stole my bicycle. Years later you are sorry. But where’s my bicycle?

[Loved that analogy – found it really helped get my mind a little more about the idea of Economic and Land Reparation that still needs to happen]

Rashied Omar: Too much co-operation with the state. But we were co-opted by the state. Don’t fly flags in the church.

 

Eddie van der Borght (Amsterdam): The urgency of this moment, the momentum, should not be lost.

 

Nico Koopman – I think one of the reasons we live so distant from each other is because we still live with stereotypes of each other.

Nico Koopman – Please notice the abnormality in the normality.

Nico Koopman – Words are important because words create worlds. But we need to move beyond words to other types of action.

Nico Koopman. Forgiveness paves the way for reconciliation, restitution and reparation. It makes us hungry for more.

 

Tutu: This is one of the maddest countries. #TellingStoriesOfInsaneForgiveness

Tutu: This thing we are talking about [TRC] was a broken instrument. But God used it.

Tutu: We should be taking off our shoes. Cos this is holy ground.

Tutu: We are a country that is meant to show the world how we are supposed to be a family of God.

Tutu just threw away his closing address and is winging it by the Spirit. #PowerfulEnd

 

And let me close with some other Tweets from some others who were there:

 

@rogersaner “Somehow we haven’t been able to translate the large religious presence in SA into justice.” –

@changeagentSA “: Nyobole: “In the past we have neglected our role in education but are reclaiming our role”

@tutulegacy The biggest beneficiaries of apartheid were the business communities.

@tutulegacy Pillay: “Unity is a gift given to us by God. We need a bigger vision. Jesus calls us to be one.” 

@rogersaner An obvious need coming out of today is for white South Africans to do some serious work to face and own the past and privilege

@digitaldion ‘Now is not the time for the Churches to retreat to the safety of the sanctuary’ Nelson Mandela comment in 1997. Still true today!

@val_c_anderson We need a different kind of theology that can underpin action – “contextual theology”. 

@val_c_anderson “There’s no such thing as apolitical religion.” ~ Dr Rashied Omar. 

 

So there you have it. Does not do what happened the last two days immense justice, but hopefully gives glimpses and some challenging ideas and concepts to reflect on and wrestle with.

A big thing that came out looking back at the original TRC is that perhaps we focused too much on Truth that we overlooked justice.

Another big idea that was said on many occasions was the need for reparation and land reform [of which fairly little has been done] to add to the reconciliation and justice that did happen.

A big failure was that the church/faith communities as a whole seemed to sit back and hope the government would take the lead on Reconciliation , whereas the Government had initially hoped that the church would pick up and continue the work of the TRC in hundreds of little TRC’s all over the country [which never really happened and quite possibly because it was not well communicated enough]

The church/faith communities as a whole has failed to be involved enough in areas of Reconciliation and has a lot of work to do. The majority of the people in South Africa would fall into some kind of faith community and so it seems to make a lot of sense that if the faith communities as a whole got serious about this stuff it should and would happen.

And more… we closed off by singing the national anthem together which was a powerful moment.

[To return to the beginning of my reflections on these two days, click here]

 

 

 

 

 

Tutu and No_bob

This is a continuation of the previous post which started giving an overview and summary of my participation in the  ‘Revisiting The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Faith Community Hearing’ which took place this week. Here are some selected highlight moments that could be captured on The Tweeterer in 140 characters of less:

FROM THE TWITTERER [Day 1 of 2]

While 140 character messages don’t capture the whole of what was experienced, hopefully they will help you to catch a bit of a glimpse:

Michael Weeder (Anglican): I have to ask, Where is God in this? And what is the work of God in this moment?

Michael Weeder (Anglican): What was abnormal then? And what of that abnormal has become normal for us today? We need to revisit.

Michael Weeder: It seems darker than yesterday. We have to drink deeply from our own wells.

: Michael Weeder: You don’t shout at people, but there comes a time when you need to. It’s time to extend this to big business.

Michael Weeder: The chains have in many ways slipped to the mind.

 

Vuyani Nyobole (methodist): We are prone to many of the sins that it is our duty to condemn.

Vuyani Nyobole: Unfinished agenda of TRC – TRC unfortunately favoured the perpetrators over the victims. Shortcoming of previous TRC

Vuyani Nyobole: We focused too much on the Truth and not enough on the Reconciliation. It was therapeutic in many ways.

Vuyani Nyobole: it wasn’t the responsibility of the government to bring reconciliation. That should have been led by faith communities.

Vuyani Nyobole: There is a responsibility on us as faith communities for critical reflection on the state of things.

Vuyani Nyobole: If there is corruption in the government, most of those people sit in our pews. It is the responsibility of the church.

 

Dion Foster (methodist): I don’t think we’re living in a post apartheid society. Law has changed. Society remains largely unchanged.

Archbishop Tutu interrupts with, “That’s why I am glad I retired when I did.” (Laughter)

 Dion Foster on Culpability: We are a large religious community in this country. But we have not translated that presence into action.

 

Yasmin Sooka (panel) The presidents fund is really huge. But 19 years later, reparations have not yet happened?

 

Kevin Dowling (catholic): Where we failed was the statements didn’t necessarily move to the conversion process. The same is true today.

Kevin Dowling: Unless the privileged community go through a conversion process that affects them personally, change has not happened.

Kevin Dowling Unless you’ve held the hand that that statistic represents, you know nothing about their story.

Kevin Dowling: a transitional justice must always begin from the story and the voices of the victims.

Kevin Dowling: Retributive justice or Restorative justice – are we going to heal or punish?

Kevin Dowling: No transformation has taken place until we see economic justice and restoration.

Kevin Dowling: Restitution. Our victims, our survivors, were sold short.

Kevin Dowling: If you want peace, you have to work for justice. But very very often peace agreements to end violence sacrifice justice.

Kevin Dowling: Who will take us forward? An empowered violated disenfranchised people. We need to be in the trenches with our people.

Kevin Dowling: We cannot anymore carry on with the perception that government must do everything. Cos government can’t do everything.

Kevin Dowling: We need to forget about appearing on TV and be in the shacks, in the trenches, in the reality of our people.

Kevin Dowling just brought up the issue of immigration which is going to “exacerbate the issue of poverty.” The govt needs to address.

 

Piet Meiring (panel) we have to remember that justice and reconciliation have to go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other.

Yasmin Sooka: Restorative justice and punitive justice. What about the forgotten one of Redistributive justice?

 

Jerry Pillay (Presbyterian): Gender justice is also an important need for the church to focus on. And ecojustice.

Jerry Pillay: The need of practical aspects of reconciliation has largely been swept under the carpet. Many of us just want “to move on”.

Jerry Pillay: Churches need to ask, “How do we actually revisit what we do in light of changing contexts?”

Jerry Pillay: The vision must come with a reminder that this is a biblical imperative. Jesus prayed that we should be one.

 

Yasmin Sooka: in reality, gender equality remains elusive. Violence against women has become normalized.

Piet Meiring: the importance of the twinning of Unity and Reconciliation is an important thing we must never forget.

 

Kobus Gerber (NGK) An event like this brings tears to our eyes. Just to experience what we were part of being done to the people.

 

Peter Grove (URC) Will we make progress if we just repeat what was said 17 years ago? I don’t think so…

Peter Grove: We live our lives between the tension of memory and expectation.

Peter Grove: People constantly rewrite the past and redefine the future.

Peter Grove: Before we can move to attempts to do certain things we need to ask ourselves how to be certain things.

Peter Grove: We cannot talk about the squatters camps and the townships. We need to meet our brothers and sisters there.

 

E G Fourie (NHK) My church made it very clear to me I’m here in my individual capacity.

E G Fourie: So in my individual capacity i want to say I’m sad that I’m here in my individual capacity.

 [E G Fourie just blew this whole thing open with raw rough real tear-filled-and-causing testimony. Heavy. So good.]

E G Fourie after heavy speech about some of the race struggles within his church: This is where our church is…now.

E G Fourie: Many moons ago when i was at school we had no such thing as political correctness.

E G Fourie: kids who were mentally challenged we called specials. They were put in a special class.

E G Fourie: My church when it comes to issues of reconciliation is in a slow class.

E G Fourie:Now we call it a special needs class. My church has special needs.

EG Fourie: We have a special need for forgiveness.

 [E G Fourie gets standing ovation as he breaks down and Tutu goes forward and embraces him. Real moment.]

 

Amie van Wyk: Let me explain my name. My name is Jan. My dad’s name is Jan. Our worker was Jan. The donkey’s name was Jan.

Amie van Wyk: So my mom changed my name. (Tutu in loud hysterics)

 

Daniel Andrews (AFM): We must see what is happening in society through the eyes of those who are suffering.

 

Glenda [panel]: Intergenerational trauma that adults carry that we must deal with so children don’t carry the scars on.

 

Frank Chikane (AFM) The constitution must reflect what the Lord wants us to be.

Frank Chikane: If justice calls for us to go this way we must do it, whatever the cost.

 

Tutu: God puts Himself/Herself in our hands. And we’ve messed up His reputation.

Tutu: I actually saw God smiling through the tears today. Thank you for wanting to help Me make my world a better place.

Tutu: It is up to you and you and you whether this country becomes a hell or a paradise. God doesn’t have anyone else.

 

So those are a number of the Tweets i sent out while listening on day 1 – even though you might not have been there ad even though these do not fully carry the heart of the different testimonies, there is still food for thought in here and enough to make you stop and go, ‘Wo!’ and hopefully think and reflect some more.

[To continue on to Part III and the tweets from Day 2 of the Commission, click here]

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