Shifting Justitial-Prophetic Roles of Churches and the Unfinished Business of National Reconciliation in South Africa

When the missionaries came to Africa, they had the Bible and we had the land. They said ‘Let us pray.’ We closed our eyes. When we opened them, we had the Bible and they had the land…

Desmond Tutu

On December 10th, 1993, a strange drama was unfolding in Oslo. Before a star-studded audience at the famed Oslo City Hall, Francis Sejersted, Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, commended together Frederik Willem de Klerk and Nelson Mandela on winning the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize. All evening, a curiously religious mood hung in the air. F.W. de Klerk, quoting Afrikaans poets, highlighted in his Nobel lecture the Apartheid regime’s ‘soul-searching’ to “work for peace in our land,[1] while Mandela drew on the work of the preacher Albert Lutuli, the Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to frame his lecture. Sejersted praised both de Klerk and Mandela for recognizing “the God-factor in [all men]…[who] strive to serve [their] creator to the best of [their] ability…”[2] “Reconciliation,” declared the Committee, “…the recognition that one must give in order to be able to take… provides hope not only for South Africa; it is also a shining example for the world that there are ways out of the vicious circle of…bitterness.”[3] Committee members, prize winners, and observers held up the prize as a model for stitching together a world left in tatters by religious and ethnic divides. Four months later, Nelson Mandela won the South African presidency. “At the southern tip of the continent of Africa, a rich reward [had been] in the making,” and in 1994, they won a victory long-delayed.[4] The spectacle of the 1993 Nobel cycle seemed to be the final nail in Apartheid’s coffin and great hope of reconciliation. But, how would the new regime in Pretoria choose “not to dwell on the deep wounds of the past?”[5] And would it succeed?

Black churches functioned as key organizational networks and prophets of liberation and reconciliation in the South African movement for independence and its aftermath. Today, however, post-conflict transformation in South Africa stands largely stalled. The disenfranchisement and violence of the ancien régime lives on, even among the ‘born free’ generation. Nowhere is this reality more apparent than in the land itself. The Afrikaner colonial enterprise was fundamentally motivated by land, and to this day, white South Africans own over 70% of the country’s arable territory.[6] The contemporary land reform debate brings to the surface difficult questions about what the Nobel Committee entrusted Mandela and de Klerk to achieve and typifies the unfinished business of reconciliation. As the South African democratic experiment grapples with the urgent and divisive question of land justice, Black churches have not been able to play a fruitful role in the debate since a short burst of activity in the early 2000s. This paper contends that the justitial-prophetic capacity of black churches and FBOs, which once pioneered ‘restorative justice’-based reconciliation, has declined. I offer three key reasons for this absence of dynamic prophetic voice on the land question. First, the South African Council of Churches (SACC), once the chief prophet of liberation and reconciliation, lost its momentum on the land debate after the early 2000s and has, since then, lost much of its social and political power. Second, the face of South African (and African) Christianity itself is evolving, with Pentecostal-type African-Initiated Churches (AICs) assuming greater influence among ordinary South Africans. I analyze, to this end, the emergence and growth of the largest church in South Africa, the Zion Christian Church (ZCC). Finally, taking the ZCC as an example, I argue that most AICs in South Africa are politically disengaged, which holds critical implications for theological contributions to the land justice debate and the future of public Christianity in the country.

Perspectives and Terms

Before beginning, it is important to address some of the key terminological debates and controversies relevant to discussing the church-state relationship in South Africa. First, this paper uses extensively the terminology of ‘prophet,’ ‘prophecy,’ and ‘prophetic voice’ to analyze the public and political roles black churches have played. The concept’s origin lies in the idea of ‘prophetic witness,’ through which Christian prophets offered contextual critiques and programmes to society on behalf of God.[7] For scholars like Walshe and Nell,[8] the “prophetic Christian voice”[9] in South Africa brings biblical values to bear on social analysis and advocacy for justice. However, such a justice-focused understanding also brings a host of value judgements about the appropriate place and role of the church. South African ‘prophets,’ such as the Afrikaner churches, have as much been agents of injustice as they have been, in the grand tradition of the SACC, advocates for justice. Therefore, in this paper, I use a thinner understanding of ‘prophetic voice’ simply to characterize how churches relate to and work within particular socio-political contexts.[10]

Second, this work rests on a comparative analysis of ‘mainline’ and ‘African-Initiated’ churches. I will use interchangeably the terminology of ‘mainline’ and ‘mission’ church to characterize the established mainline churches of South Africa, which trace their roots back to missionary work in the 19th and 20th centuries and generally maintain strong theological and organizational links to mother churches. On the other hand, African-Initiated Churches (AICs) are becoming the next frontier of Christian expression on the continent. Although, strictly speaking, AICs refer simply to churches initiated and controlled by Africans, for my purposes, a narrower understanding includes the recognition that most AICs in Southern Africa are related to Pentecostalism.[11] These AICs do have early links to Evangelical missionaries of the early 20th century, but they will not be characterized as ‘mission churches’ here because they are organizationally, theologically, and liturgically distinct from their Western Evangelical origins. With this conceptualization of the “African manifestation[s] of Christian pneumatology,”[12] I borrow from Anderson and use the terminology of AICs in South Africa interchangeably with ‘African Pentecostals’ and ‘Pentecostal-type’ churches.[13]

Public Christianity and religious activism in South Africa have operated at multiple registers, including the individual, local, communal, regional, national, and transnational. This, however, is a middle-range analysis focused neither on the “million acts of everyday struggle”[14] in local Christian communities nor on networks mobilized in Lusaka, Dodoma, London, Geneva, and Washington. Instead, I will examine thinkers and activists at the national level who have contributed to the development, or lack thereof, of prophetic voice among South African churches. The land debate is currently dominating and transforming South African politics. Much of the literature on land reform falls into three broad categories: those that trace the genesis of current land policy and its political and ideological antecedents,[15] those concerned with the implementation of land policy, its successes, and failures,[16] and those analyzing recent developments in the land debate.[17] None, however, have connected public theologies and Christianities to the questions of land justice and its recent upheavals. By bridging research in religious studies on the continent with the unfolding debate on land reform in political science, I will attempt to highlight the ambiguity of church roles in South Africa and some of the complex social, political, and economic relationships that are making and un-making productive public Christianities on the continent.

Prophecies of Subjugation, Prophecies of Liberation: Constructing White Afrikanerdom, Black Churches, and the SACC

The land question as it stands now has been defined by several critical junctures from the colonial era and independence struggle. Dutch and British colonialism,[18] which eventually matured into rasse-Apartheid (race separation),[19] constructed a distinctivelyAfrikaner role civilisatrice (underpinned by Afrikaner churches[20]) linked to a particular understanding of the relationship between land and race. As settlers from marginalized European communities, colonists understood keenly the profound power of land. The Afrikaner weltanschauung thus embedded narratives of racial deservingness and identity within the traditional Anglo-Saxon understanding of property. Whiteness became the fundamental property[21] upon which the colonial regime built Apartheid. Thus D. F. Malan, one of the principal architects of Apartheid and a Dutch Reformed Church (Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk, NGK) minister, argues:

Our history is the greatest masterpiece of the centuries. We hold this nationhood as our due for it was given us by the Architect of the universe. [His] aim was the formation of a new nation among the nations of the world…the history of the Afrikaner reveals a will and a determination which makes one feel that Afrikanerdom is not the work of men but the creation of God…[22]

At the same time, black churches used their own theological resources and approaches to push back against the ideologies upon which their marginalization had been premised and to claim South African land as a site of meaning-making and material empowerment. In 1962, Dr. Beyers Naudé, an NGK minister, founded the journal Pro Veritate and the Christian Institute (CI, since 1968 the SACC).[23] Under the visionary leadership of, among others, General-Secretaries Desmond Tutu (1978-1984), Beyers Naudé (1984-1998), Frank Chikane (1987-1994), Sam Buti (1979-?), and Peter Storey (1981-1983), the SACC became a famed foe of Apartheid.[24] “There are alarming signs,” the SACC declared, “that this doctrine of [racial] separation has become, for many, a false faith, a novel gospel…such a claim inevitably conflicts with the Christian Gospel, which offers salvation, both social and individual…we believe that his kingdom and its righteousness have power to cast out all that opposes his purposes and keeps men in darkness.”[25] In 1984, Desmond Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his role within the SACC because “few other organisations can make the same claim to speak for the black population.”[26] Slow and highly-confidential negotiations between the Apartheid regime and the then-imprisoned Deputy President of the ANC, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, and with ANC President Oliver Tambo, exiled in Lusaka,[27] coalesced around the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA) in 1991, the Multi-Party Negotiating Forum in 1993, a government of national unity, an interim constitution, and a transitional executive committee.[28] In December of that year, Mandela and de Klerk were awarded the joint Nobel Peace Prize, and, just four months later, Madiba was sworn in as the first democratically-elected, black President of South Africa.

Prophets of Transitional Justice: The SACC, Reconciliation, and Restorative Justice

The spectacle of the 1993 Nobel cycle captured both the great hope of reconciliation and what would become its significant limitations in post-Apartheid South Africa. The 1993 interim constitution laid out CODESA’s vision for South Africa’s democratic transition: a transitional justice agenda focused on ‘national unity and reconciliation’ would become “a historic bridge between the past of a deeply divided society…and a future founded on…peaceful co-existence and development opportunities…”[29] In exchange for the full and honest truth and acknowledgement about what had been done in the name of the ancien régime, the new state would grant its perpetrators amnesty through a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) chaired by the Archbishop of Cape Town, Desmond Tutu.[30] Although a pragmatic political initiative in many regards,[31] there is no doubt that the reconciliation agenda also represented a deeply-felt and deeply-embedded grappling with the profoundly philosophical and ethical dimensions[32] of democratic transition. Religion, Christianity in particular, became a, if not the, crucial idiom of reconciliation: the TRC’s “notion of reconciliation…associated with contrition, confession, forgiveness and restitution”[33] had emerged first in South African liberationist-Christian circles and filtered out to the broader anti-Apartheid coalition which ultimately formed CODESA.[34] As part of its transformation from primarily an ecumenical organization to a storied collective preaching revolution, the SACC and its allies transitioned from prophets of liberation to prophets of reconciliation and a ‘restorative justice’ that would acknowledge harms, seek to repair them holistically, and improve social relationships.[35] The key role of mainline churches in this project is captured, for instance, by these words from a SACC brochure: “the Commission for Truth and Reconciliation is not another Nuremberg. It turns its back on any desire for revenge…the space is thereby created where the deeper processes of forgiveness, confession, repentance, reparation, and reconciliation can take place.”[36] Reconciliation thus became the “civic sacrament,”[37] as Asmal, Asmal, and Roberts call it, through which South Africa was meant to recover. 

Truth commissions had been pioneered in Latin America, beginning with Argentina’s National Commission on the Disappeared (CONADEP).[38] What was distinctive about South Africa’s TRC process, which worked with over 21,290 people,[39] was its explicit effort to foreground reconciliationand its religious character.[40] Reconciliation was performed and lived every day in the TRC.[41] On the very second day of public hearings, for example, Tutu, clad in his purple vestments, broke down in tears and held his head in his hands listening to the harrowing story of ANC veteran Singqokwana Ernest Malgas.[42] Often, commissioners, and Tutu and Alex Boraine in particular, would end testimonies with homilies[43] and traditional songs like the Xhosa Senzeni Na.[44] Many who told their stories, like Paul Williams, Frank Retief (two St. James Massacre’93 victims), and Ramorakane Mohajane (a Sharpeville’60 survivor) drew on Christian ideas to frame their testimonies and how they came to terms with their suffering.[45] “The spotlight gyrates…,” as Cole writes, “exposing old lies and illuminating new truths.”[46]

The South African model of transition, with truth and reconciliation at its center, has been heralded as a success and a model of reconciliation for a world torn apart by socio-political divides in popular[47] and academic[48] memory. Cynthia Ngeweu, whose son Christopher Piet was murdered as part of the Gugulethu Seven, summarized it as “this thing called reconciliation…if I am understanding it correctly…if it means the perpetrator, the man who has killed Christopher Piet, if it means he becomes human again…so that I, so that all of us, get our humanity back…then I support it all.”[49]

Unfinished Business: ‘Diminished Truth,’ Structural Legacies of Apartheid, and the Land Question

The TRC, or at least its Human Rights Committee where perpetrators, victims, and bystanders told their stories and the nation publicly grappled with its past, seemed to be a cathartic “miracle”[50] for South Africa. The story of the Reparations and Rehabilitation Committee (RRC), however, was different. “So many in the white community,” Desmond Tutu writes, “were able to live normal lives, enjoying the freedoms of citizenship, with huge privileges and benefits.”[51] It was, indeed, a privileged citizenship. Very little economic-racial data exists from the Apartheid period both because the government made very scant information available and because of the spatial isolation of black populations in ‘homeland’ territories.[52] However, the 1994 Project for Statistics on Living Standards and Development (PSLSD) does allow us to put numbers to some of this privilege on the eve of transition – on average, white, colored, and Indian people were wealthier, healthier, and happier than black people. 45% of surveyed Africans had completed at least grade six compared to 92% of whites,[53] 44% of Africans lived in a house/part of a house compared to 82% of whites,[54] 34% had access to sanitation and electricity infrastructures compared to close to 100% of whites,[55] the average monthly household expenditure in white households was close to five times larger at R4742 than that of black households R1111,[56] and African households had an average monthly income of R1005, compared to R6394 among white people.[57] 39% of surveyed Africans were ‘dissatisfied’ with their quality of life, compared to 53% of whites who were satisfied.[58] For black people, the most desperate needs included ‘jobs’ and ‘housing,’ while white people noted a need for ‘political settlement’ and ‘end of violence.’[59] A majority of black people did not feel safe within or outside their homes.[60] According to the 1996 census, 40% of the economically active (15-65) was unemployed (hitting near 50% in the poorest provinces).[61]

Land was, and continues to be, a critical dimension of this structural struggle. As the TRC wrapped up in 1998, the RRC – the least well-known TRC committee – became particularly controversial. It could only make recommendations for reparation, and Shore argues rightly that the amnesty and reparations process “revictimized” survivors who “witnessed their violators go free without having received any compensation.”[62] The government authorized R50 million[63] as urgent interim reparations,[64] alongside 20,000 victims, who received (after many delays) R660 million[65] of individual reparation grants[66] (roughly R30,000 to each). This hardly begins to tackle the structural problems facing black South Africa, briefly touched upon above. Thus, for Mamdani, the TRC, by not engaging more deeply with the thorny questions of structural transformation and social justice, produced a “diminished truth.”[67] The ‘individualization’ of harm – a social and political necessity at the time – remains indefensible for some observers.[68] As I briefly traced earlier, the colonial project concerned itself fundamentally with land, land dispossession,and exploitation of black labor to work the land – on farms, in mines, in factories around the country – which influenced deeply the formation of white Afrikanerdom and black opposition to it.[69] Moreover, land and access to land is not simply an economic matter. As Shipton argues, “landholding is at the center of the confluence…[of] religion, ritual…cognition…adaptation, sustenance, and production…”[70] Land, in short, is inextricably bound up with the metaphysical and material dimensions of enfranchisement, liberation, and reclamation in newly-democratic South Africa. Apartheid had limited Africans to only 13% of the reserved territories (‘Bantustans’/‘native homelands’).[71] In 1994, the average black person held 1.3 hectares of land compared to 1,570 hectares owned by the average white person[72] – a staggering 199% difference. About 82% of South African land is available for agricultural use,[73] and 86% of this arable land was in white hands in 1994.[74] 60,000 commercial landowners,[75] representing the white minority (in 1996, 10.6% of the population[76]), not only kept the majority of South African land out of black hands but exploited black labor through tenure systems. The political economy of white domination, and in particular the need for land reform, restitution, and redistribution were thus recognized as urgent by the new government.

The 1996 constitution acknowledged both the right to property and “the nation’s commitment to land reform,” for which property could be expropriated.[77] While revolutionary in sentiment (at least by Western standards of property rights), its application was anything but. The ANC regime was called upon to reconcile multiple dimensions of deprivation and various political sensitivities wrapped up in the land question: white landowners controlled most of the arable land to produce export-oriented high-value products like meat and fruit.[78] Lahiff argues that after 1994, black South Africans needed not access to commercial-scale production, but simply a return to the “thriving African peasant sector [of] the early 20th century,” which the Apartheid regime had destroyed.[79] The new South African government needed to maintain a delicate balance, addressing not just land dispossession as systematic injustice (for example, as Zimbabwe did through Fast-Track Land Reform, FTLR in 2000), but also addressing rural poverty and urban exploitation[80] while “contribut[ing] to economic development, without destroying the advanced agricultural sector or alienating politically conservative white landowners.”[81] “Restitution,” argued the Land Affairs Department in 1998, “has turned out to be much more complex than was originally realised.”[82] It was in this atmosphere – in a country with dispossession “greater than any other…in Africa”[83] – which the neoliberals were about to step up to the plate.

The government, in its 1997 White Paper on Land Policy, set three policy priorities: restitution, redistribution, and tenure reform.[84] The new state’s policy approach was strongly shaped by the World Bank and affiliated Bretton Woods technocrats,[85] with whose advice the new government set out to redistribute 30% of all agricultural land in the first five years using a market-based approach.[86] Throughout the independence movement period, neo-Marxist ideas about redistribution and expropriation – drawn from the rich tradition of post-colonial socialist thinking on the continent – had been a cornerstone of the policy vision espoused by key players like the COSATU, ANC, and the SACC.[87] But, the policies of land justice in South Africa after 1994 do not reflect these radical visions. Trevor Manual, former South African Finance Minister (1996-2009), explains this ideological shift as such: “the collapse of the Soviet Union, the destruction of the Berlin Wall broke the…revolutionary romantic illusions of many…”[88] The ‘willing buyer-willing seller’ system that emerged instead connects voluntary sellers and buyers (while the state provides grants and services to needy buyers)[89] for redistribution. Meanwhile, the restitution program would hear claims from those who said they were dispossessed to restore land or provide capital or financial alternatives,[90] and tenure reform would rest on a non-racial rights-based system that protected de facto landholders (vested workers).[91] This policy ecosystem sidesteps many of the thorny questions about public interest expropriation enshrined in the constitution.

Despite these diverse policy pathways, the way property ownership and land justice has been enacted in post-1994 South Africa has remained a domain of controversy and failure. By 1999, 1% of land had been transferred, and in 2006, this number stood at 4.1%.[92] The strategy of reform by “buy[ing] out white privilege”[93] has been a slow, even stagnant process: in 2005, 3.5 million hectares of land had been transferred.[94] In 2018, of the over 80 million arable hectares, the government had delivered 8.4 million.[95] Compared to the government’s target of 30% redistribution by 1999 (a date later extended to 2015), by 2018, the government had only managed to transfer about 10% of all viable farmland.[96] Approximately 60% of South Africans continue to hold no property or property rights (with only a small minority having secure tenure).[97] A 2017 Land Audit revealed the true extent of these failures: Africans still owned only 4% of the land. 72% remained with white landowners.[98] The “mediocre hucksters of neoliberalism” had managed to push for a form of individualized and atomized land reconciliation that ultimately failed to deliver the fruits of land justice to black South Africa.[99]

But the land question in African politics rarely rests easy. Already with FTLR in Zimbabwe in the early 2000s, the landscape of policy possibilities in Southern Africa was shifting: “the winds of change that were started by Mugabe [we]re indeed blowing across South Africa and Namibia and fueling the voices that call for a radical, non-market driven land reform process.”[100] The 2014 election brought the land question to the forefront of South African politics with renewed urgency. In July 2013, Julius Malema – a former ANC Youth League renegade – began transforming the South African political landscape narratively and visually through the new Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party. The EFF’s ubiquitous red beret, “a must-have fashion accessory,” stood as a “symbol of commitment to the struggle for economic freedom.”[101] The party – ideologically polysemic but with socialist influences and representing a “radical blackness”[102] – advocates for expropriating white-owned land without compensation, nationalizing the ‘strategic sectors’ of the economy, and for “a move from reconciliation to justice”[103] (emphasis added). The EFF and its firebrand politicians – Malema, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, Floyd Shivambu – began putting forward an explicit and piercing critique of the reconciliation paradigm, labelling the post-1994 Rainbow Nation as an extension of the “white supremacist state” in the absence of the “economic emancipation of the Black majority.”[104] That the EFF was tabling a publicly and politically-resonant agenda became clear when the new party became the third-largest in the 2014 parliament, overtaking older and more established opposition blocs like the United Democratic Movement (UDM) and Congress of the People (COPE). In raw numbers, the EFF only picked up 25 seats and the ANC certainly towered over it with 249 seats,[105] but it was a clear signal to the old guard about shifting tides in South African politics. As the 2019 election season began heating up, the land reform debate was back in the public consciousness. At its 54th National Conference in December 2017, the ANC acknowledged that “expropriation of land without compensation should be among the key mechanisms available to government to give effect to land reform…”[106] In 2018, the EFF tabled a motion calling for a review of Section 25 of the Constitution,[107] which set up the principle of public interest expropriation with compensation.[108] The Constitutional Review Committee’s public hearings confirmed the “overwhelming support for constitutional amendment and expropriation of land without compensation.”[109] In August 2018, Akkerland Boerdery became the first white-owned property to be sent a controversial, non-negotiated expropriation notice after initial sale negotiations with the government stalled.[110] In this political context, the 2019 election saw the EFF nearly double its seat count,[111] keeping land reform high on the national agenda. The Constitutional Review Committee’s findings were reaffirmed by President Cyril Ramaphosa’s 2019 Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture, which recommended a significant rethinking of the Western notions of property and property compensation on which the 1996 property clause was originally based.[112] As of November 2019, Ad Hoc Committee to Initiate and Introduce Legislation Amending Section 25 of the Constitution continues to work on what form this new land reform regime might take, and expects to wrap up by 31st March, 2020.[113]

For the foreseeable future, land justice and land reconciliation will remain salient in the public and political consciousness. The neoliberal moment in South African politics is at a point of crisis, and political challenges fielded by parties like the EFF demand a concerted reconfiguration of the land question, and broadly, a radical rethinking of the reconciliation framework within which land justice has thus far been embedded. Indeed, it is difficult to disagree with McCusker, Moseley, and Ramutsindela’s observation that even as the TRC pioneered the restorative justice paradigm, its legacy on and the ANC’s approach to land reform displays a “sheer lack of imagination…[in] reconfiguring either the [colonial-era] patterns or processes of the production of space.”[114] New voices like the EFF are pushing the public and political elites in new directions. The South African religious establishment, whose prophetic imaginaries had sustained the liberation movement for decades and propelled forward the reconciliation paradigm near the end of Apartheid, however, is adding little to the current land debate. Why? This paper offers three key reasons for the absence of a dynamic prophetic voice on the land question. First, the South African Council of Churches (SACC), once the chief prophet of liberation and reconciliation, lost its momentum on the land debate after the early 2000s and has, since then, diminished significantly in its social and political power. Second, the face of South African (and African) Christianity itself is evolving, with Pentecostal-type African-Initiated Churches (AICs) assuming greater influence among ordinary South Africans. I analyze, to this end, the emergence and growth of the largest church in South Africa (and the second-largest in Africa) – the Zion Christian Church (ZCC). Finally, taking the ZCC as an example, I argue that most AICs in South Africa focus on the experiential and charismatic dimensions of Christianity and remain political disengaged, which holds critical implications for theological contributions to the land justice debate and the future of public Christianity in the country.

“Going Back to the Church:” The SACC’s Missing Prophets and Political Marginalization

In 1994, Desmond Tutu introduced Nelson Mandela as the first democratically-elected President of South Africa on the steps of the Union Building in Pretoria. “Now,” he said, “I am going back to the church to do the real business of the church and leave politics to those well qualified to do it.”[115] Yet, as South Africa began transitioning to a democracy, organizations like the SACC were called upon not simply to ‘go back to the church,’ but also to move from a liberatory theology to a “theology of nation-building.”[116] Kumalo and Dziva describe this approach as a ‘critical solidarity,’ through which churches support “those government initiatives that promote justice, peace, and democracy, whilst continuing [their] protest against unjust policies and its protection of the interests of the poor and minority groups.”[117] At a 1994 conference at Vereeniging, the SACC described its role in a democratic South Africa in this way.[118] However, this is not precisely where the SACC’s prophetic potential lies. After all, ‘critical solidarity’ is “redolent with ambiguity.” In fact, when articulated, it often implies (if not outrights constructs) a ‘subsidiarity’ between state and church. For some, like Vellem, “it is a misnomer for the [prophetic] church to be in solidarity with the state, i.e. with power.”[119] Villa-Vicencio offers a more nuanced and powerful take on churches’ ideal roles after 1994. South African churches have a moral imperative to continue to lead with contextual voices in the arena of human rights and law-making. Otherwise, institutions like the SACC would merely become “an escape from the challenge of discerning the liberating presence of God in the midst of the struggle for a better world.”[120] In other words, it is not for churches to show solidarity with the democratic state or simply to speak about unjust practices. Churches must continue to lead publicly and politically with novel and evolving prophetic voices.

However, though accepted in principle, the ecclesiological practice of dynamic prophetic witness on the land question has generally eluded the SACC since 1994 for two key reasons. First, the council has reproduced, in important ways, the ANC’s traditional line on land reform and land reconciliation. As we have seen above, the ANC adopted, under pressure from the Washington neoliberals, a market-oriented, gradualist vision of land reform and land justice. In the early 2000s, there was some pushback from the SACC on willing buyer-willing seller. In an October 2004 submission to the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture and Affairs, the council prioritized the long-term vision of land reform over its pace: “the success of land reform should not be measured in terms of how quickly the ‘task’ is completed or even how much land is transferred, but rather how extensively…it advances…the restoration of human dignity.”[121] At this time, the SACC advanced the idea that “ownership of land was never absolute…the Jubilee tradition affirmed the redistributive nature of God’s commitment to the poor, seeking to ensure just and equitable access to land and resources…”[122] This redistributive and pro-poor activism for ‘humans as stewards of the land,’[123] however, has diminished.

In the years since, just as land reform itself has lost its momentum (at least until recently), so has the SACC’s advocacy for it. To be fair, the council has pushed back in other ways against the neoliberal logic of the contemporary South African state. Most prominent among these is its support for the People’s Budget Campaign, which seeks to transform the understanding of ‘fiscal responsibility’ from an austerity-oriented one to a person- and society-oriented one.[124] It has criticized the “mortgaged state” of South Africa and particularly Jacob Zuma, the face of corruption and neopatrimonialism within the ANC.[125] It has condemned South African militarization as detracting from the urgent needs of development.[126] Kuperus argues that these developments reflect clearly “the survival of the SACC’s critical and prophetic voice.”[127] On the land question, however, after the short burst of activity in the early 2000s, the council has been fairly silent. Its voice is missing from the unfolding national dialectic between the ANC and EFF’s approaches to reform as well as on recent developments on expropriation without compensation. In a 2017 statement, the SACC laid out its sparse strategic vision of land reform as follows: the land question should be dealt with through “a comprehensive spatial utility approach that involves all areas, rural and urban, communal and freehold; with appropriate trade-offs to the satisfaction of all.”[128] Thus, even as the land justice debate occupies the current political consciousness, the SACC has not offered a concrete program nor a vision that goes beyond the reconciliatory “trade-offs” of 1994. During a period of renewed focus on land reform, its justitial-prophetic voice on land justice has been absent from ecumenical statements, in parliament, in reports, and steering committees.

Second, theSACC’s influence within the ruling ANC, and therefore the South African state, has diminished significantly, which limits its prophetic capacity on the receiving end. Democratization in the 1990s blurred the line between the SACC and the new South African state. The “remarkably humanizing policies” of the Mandela government and the euphoria of democratization led organizations like the council to exchange their ‘prophetic distance’ from the pre-1994 state for ‘critical solidarity’ with the post-1994 state.[129] Already, through appointments to the TRC, this process had begun. Other key religious leaders like Brigalia Bam, Smangaliso Mkhatshwa, Makhenkesi Stofile, Mvume Dandala, Peter Marais, Frank Chikane, Motsoko Pheko, Sipho Mzimela, and Stanley Mogoba joined the government or the civil services.[130] Some like Allan Boesak found themselves embroiled in corruption scandals.[131] The SACC, because of its close association with the state, has been criticized on a variety of fronts, including its hesitation in criticizing the government’s record on poverty reduction, Zimbabwe’s human rights violations, response to HIV/AIDS, and the corruption of the Zuma regime (which only recently did the SACC become very vocal in criticizing) as well as the rape charges against him.[132] As Storey writes, institutions whose “theological clarity had been forged in the heat and burden of the struggle” began losing their way by “signing onto Caesar’s payroll.”[133] The SACC did begin voicing more insistent criticisms of the ANC, particularly on the Zimbabwe issue and on the marginalization of the poor, in the late 2000s,[134] which then led the Zuma regime to make a concerted effort to marginalize the council’s political role and restrict the reach of its voice.[135] In July 2009, the Zuma government brought various religious groups together to form the National Interfaith Leaders Council (NILC) – a partnership with the government on public service provision. In a “remarkable development,”[136] the SACC – once the foremost religio-political authority in the country – was not invited onto the NILC.[137] Mogomotsi Diutwileng, a former SACC staffer, describes the council’s decline: “The SACC is not influential. If we had influence and power, the government would consult with us before it takes certain decisions…even when the church stands on a public platform to issue a statement, if we are lucky, a spokesperson of the ANC replies to the statement—that is, if we are really lucky…”[138] Without financial support from the government or international organizations, the SACC was forced to shut down its Parliamentary Liaison Office in 2016 – a disturbing indicator of its waning political voice. Its national staff, which numbered at over six hundred at the council’s height of influence, now has dropped to one, along with twelve to twenty regional staff. [139] “Inspirational and charismatic” leaders like Bayers Naudé, Peter Storey, and Frank Chikane neglected to pass on the prophetic reins to a younger generation of activists.[140] The contemporary SACC, shows Kuperus, has become only one of the many organizations that are able to capture the national imagination.[141] Espousing a politics of conciliation and reconciliation, the council has not successfully developed a substantive theology of reconstruction and nation-building.

Because of these developments, the SACC has been unable to bring a productive prophetic voice to the land reform debate or address the higher-order challenges inherent to the restorative justice paradigm, which tends to dissociate social justice from social reconciliation. Vena Mqondisi, Director of the Western Cape Province of Churches, says that

We seem to have lost the prophetic voice…I think to a certain extent…we have been very complacent…we should do away with critical solidarity with the government. I think our solidarity should be with the poor and marginalized.[142]

 In sum, the SACC today is unable to provide prophetic guidance on the land question because it lost its momentum on the debate after the early 2000s and because of its complex relationship with the ANC regime. But it is not simply the chief prophet of South African Christianity that has changed since 1994. In fact, the face of South African (and African) Christianity itself is evolving, with critical implications for theological contributions to the land justice debate and the future of public Christianity in the country.

“The People Will Look for the Church:” Africa’s Evangelical Turn, the Changing Christianity of South Africa, and the Zion Christian Church

African-Initiated Churches (AICs) – including Ethiopian-type churches, Zionists, and Apostolics – emphasize “the working of the Holy Spirit.”[143] Many Southern African AICs trace their roots to the American healing and Pentecostal movements which spread on the continent through missionary work in the 20th century. However, AICs imbue their focus on the Holy Spirit with distinctively African characteristics, embedding their experience of Christianity into a relational and contextual framework.[144] West suggests that unlike the traditional mission-sponsored churches, which center mainline churches’ characteristic ‘other-worldliness,’ AICs introduced to Evangelical mission Christianity a focus on the “explanation, prediction, and control of space-time events” common to “traditional African religious systems.”[145] Because mission Christianity was pushed onto a population cognitively oriented to ‘this-worldly’ spirituality, “Christianity would be judged in these terms.”[146] But, as Ranger argues, AICs did not just ‘Africanize’ mission-Evangelical teaching, they also intensified it and propelled its transformation into an “oral prophetic” tradition.[147] AICs, writes Mashabela, allow black people to “live out the Gospel as Africans.”[148] The AIC’s ‘prophet’ (particularly in Zionist churches), through whom God speaks to congregants and addresses their concerns, usually diverges from the mission churches by forging their credentials in actively addressing this-worldly concerns like sickness and misfortune.[149] 

Opportunities for advancement, a resonant mix of Western and African thinking, and spaces for healing and releasing tensions and frustrations communally have all been cited as reasons for the emergence of AICs in Africa.[150] Scholars like Thompson also situate the proliferation of AICs within the larger growth of an “Evangelical-Pentecostal-charismatic spirituality” around the world in the 20th and 21st centuries.[151] According to a 2011 survey, Sub-Saharan Africa is home to the greatest share of the world’s evangelicals at nearly 39% of the total Sub-Saharan population.[152] In South Africa, AICs have seen startling growth. In 1996, 26.8% of South Africans belonged to AICs. The 2001 census identified a third of the population (nearly 32%) as AIC members.[153] Unlike the general trend to secularism in Western countries,[154] in South Africa, Christianity continues to experience steady growth into the 21st century. In 2001, about 79% of South Africans were Christian.[155] In 2010, a Pew survey estimated this number to stand at 87%.[156] In the official 2013 General Household Survey, nearly 86% of South Africans were identified as Christians.[157] Moreover, 74% of surveyed South Africans in 2010 found religion to be very important in their lives (and 66% of them went so far as to say the Bible should be the basis of law). South Africans consistently report community organizations like churches as key frontline resources.[158] In 1991, there were at least six thousand AICs in South Africa, to which 46% of the black population belonged.[159] By far, the biggest Christian sector in South Africa is the Evangelicals, with over 22 million members in 2016.[160] This brief quantitative sketch highlights two important trends: one, the continued salience of a growing Christian sector in South Africa, which gives churches significant social capital and power, and two, the importance of Evangelicals, and particularly the AICs. Gifford argues that the shift away from mainline/mission churches in Africa to Pentecostal and Pentecostal-type AICs is not just a “significant realignment within African Christianity,” but also represents a powerful filtering down of elite mission Christianity to the masses.[161]

This gives AICs, which constitute the largest and a swiftly-growing Christian sector in South Africa, significant potential. In particular, I focus on the Zion Christian Church – the largest AIC in South Africa (and in Southern Africa) and the second-largest in Africa.[162] The ZCC was founded by Engenas Lekganyane, an evangelist from Mamabolo, who had his education in the Word of Christ with the Free Church of Scotland and then with Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM), established in South Africa by North American missionaries in 1908. ZCC lore holds that Lekganyane received a vision in 1910 and in 1925, he founded the ZCC.[163] Lekganyane commanded “supreme charismatic authority”[164] in the church and left its control to the ‘bishops’ (leaders), who come from the Lekganyane family. Edward Lekganyane (1926-1967) and Barnabas Lekganyane (1954-) have led the church as ‘prophet-type leaders with administrative talents,’[165] focused on faith healing, dancing, drums, speaking in tongues, spirit possession, nightly communion, sing-song testimonies, pilgrimages to the Lekganyane home and ZCC headquarters in Moria, symbolic dress codes,[166] alongside various theological and liturgical continuities with mission Pentecostalism.[167] Exact numbers are not available, but the ZCC has at least 10 million members in South Africa, with hundreds of other congregations around the world. Indeed, even with Engenas Lekganyane’s guiding proclamation that “a true Church will not look for the people, but the people will look for the Church,”[168] the ZCC has had a phenomenal record of growth: in 1990 it had about 1 million members. By the 2001 census, this number had grown to 4.9 million.[169] This is the latest government data available, making it safe to assume that the number is much higher today – at least 10 million, by ZCC’s most recently stated estimates.[170] ZCC members comprise at least half of all AIC members in South Africa, and some estimates put the number up to 11-12 million, which would make ZCC members half of all evangelicals in the country. Despite the dearth of reliable data, ZCC members, in their silver-star badges, headscarves, caps, and uniforms, are a highly visible constituency in South Africa, particularly in the North. Müller argues that the ZCC exists as a ‘cultural enclave’ – a “world within worlds,” a “borderland world” – which makes it especially popular among poorer South Africans in both urban and rural areas.[171] The ‘enthusiastic Christianity’ of the ZCC provides meaningful and “concrete answers to African problems”[172] within the cultural, social, and economic worlds of its congregations. At the same time, the ZCC’s top leadership commands a powerful financial network supported by social security programs, insurance, transportation, and agribusinesses.[173] Engenas Lekganyane, for example, is said to have made recruiting trips in a Rolls Royce.[174] The creation of these cultural enclaves by the ZCC also influences its politics, or lack thereof. While AICs, and particularly the ZCC, are leading a socio-religious zeitgeist in South Africa, they are oddly absent from the country’s political scene— a strange state of affairs considering the long entwinement between church and state in South Africa. Yet, as the next section demonstrates, the ZCC’s lack of political participation is not novel or surprising. For all the decades the SACC and its political allies were preaching liberation, there was a “surprising silent majority”[175] that still remains. The apolitical tradition of this ‘silent majority,’ combined with the ascendance of the ZCC in South Africa, I will argue, accounts for the declining prophetic potential of black churches when it comes to the question of land justice.

“All Things End and Prayer Alone Shall Remain”: The Politics of African Pentecostals and the ZCC

Evangelicals approached the radical-liberationist period of anti-Apartheid politics in diverse ways. The “cultural adaptability of the discourse of the Spirit,” says Thompson, enables multivocal, even inconsistent, responses to the socio-political context.[176] Some, like Ranger and Balcomb, show how evangelicals in pre-1994 South Africa existed within the ambiguous “interstices between activism and acquiescence.”[177] While institutions like the SACC were advocating for an explicitly political mission of active resistance through the Christian medium, others, like Pentecostal-type churches, provided their congregants, often the most powerless in society, an “ideological and symbolic”[178] mode of implicit resistance through their religious practices. Comaroff argues that through its rituals and imaginaries, the ZCC — “the Zionist church par excellence”— articulated a situated form of internal protest against colonial and neocolonial “cultural forms.”[179] Some scholars consider these forms of protest as symbolic and culture, and therefore inherently political.[180] As Schoffeleers writes, “what looks like acquiescence to one party may be described by another as a subtle form of resistance.”[181] Ranger advances one of the most optimistic readings of Evangelicals in Africa, arguing that AICs can make significant contributions to the democratic consolidation process because of their potential to “moralize” neopatrimonial African regimes and address the needs of their communities on the ground.[182] Because the ZCC offers its congregations significant autonomy, they gain the capacity to address essentially local problems.[183] Yet, as Gifford shows, the ‘faith gospel’ of African Pentecostals often clashes with the structural experiences of most Africans.[184] For my purposes, I will borrow from Schoffeleers’ understanding of ‘political acquiescence,’ which he defines as a church’s avoidance of “political activism of a critical nature” (emphasis added).[185] Taking that perspective, despite the AICs’ “cultural dynamism”[186] and their potential contributions as civil society actors,[187] it is difficult to contest the fact that Pentecostal-type churches in South Africa rarely venture into the explicitly political arena. On an issue like land reform, which churches cannot address without wading into the nitty-gritty politics of it, the AICs leave a significant portion of the justitial-prophetic role they could play on the table. Indeed, Gifford quotes one Liberian bishop who, frustrated by the “insignificant role” AICs had been playing in the democratization of Africa, exclaimed: “we don’t know why they won’t join us.”[188]

Like many AICs, the ZCC espouses no “systematic theology.”[189] However, two key themes emerge clearly in analyses of its theology and praxis. One, the ZCC both draws on and diverges from the practices of mission Pentecostals. The Holy Spirit is the guiding framework within which the church’s practices are embedded. This “spirit-oriented Christianity” foregrounds the experience of the Holy Spirit through experiences like healing, prophecy, and speaking in tongues.[190] Müller shows that while the traditional Pentecostal language of being ‘born again’ is absent from the ZCC, ZCC members are baptized into the church[191] and abide by strict moral codes, including restrictions on alcohol, tobacco, and pork.[192] This emphasis on a “personal encounter with God through the power of the spirit” and “signs and wonders” represents key continuity with the early years of mission Pentecostals.[193] Yet, the ZCC, like most AICs in Southern Africa, also diverges from classical Pentecostalism through rituals and forms that many label “unscriptural and ‘heathen.’”[194] Their clothing, dancing and drums, and prophetic and healing practices can all be considered ‘Pentecostal-type with African characteristics.’ The prophets of the ZCC, most prominent among whom are Engenas Lekganyane and the subsequent Lekganyane family bishops, are very important and typify the experiential and charismatic Christianity of the church. Prophets “hear from God and proclaim his will to people.”[195] They bring distinctive embodied practices to church services, including jerking, snorting, and so on, and play multiple social roles, including as conduits between congregants and the Spirit,  advisors, and maintainers of social equilibrium.[196] Linked to this first pattern is the second: ZCC preachers offer strong critiques of ‘traditional’ African rituals in favor of their own healing practices that draw both from their Pentecostal antecedents and its Africanization. The critical importance of healing practices with the ZCC has led some, like Schoffeleers, to label it a “healing church.”[197] 82% of ZCC members surveyed by Anderson in the early 1990s rejected consulting traditional diviners.[198] Müller shows how ZCC preachers criticize traditional practices, especially the role of the ngaka (traditional diviner) and muti (traditional medicine). “Who in their right mind,” he quotes from the preacher at a sermon he attended, “would be so gullible as to think that the blood of a slaughtered chicken would be of any beneficial use?”[199] Instead, prophets espouse the ZCC’s own holistic “material theology” [200] that focuses on individual and social healing, health, and well-being.[201] In this role, “the offices of prophet and diviner coalesce.”[202] According to Anderson, “many ZCC members saw [healing] as the primary function of a prophet.”[203] Indeed, the emphasis on healing as a manifestation of the African-Christian experience has been a part of the ZCC canon since the earliest years of Engenas Lekganyane, who forged his religious credentials through his renown as a healer.[204] ZCC congregations expect these healing practices and ‘prophetic therapy’ to diagnose, to effectively heal, and to help them through troubles of misfortune, witchcraft, family conflicts, and secret sins.[205] Through the ZCC’s healing role, its members find Christian solutions to pain and suffering.[206] Occupied with “the micro-world of the suffering individual,”[207] however, the ZCC and its members remain fairly disengaged from policy activity and activism.

In the South African case, Balcomb distinguishes between five archetypical Evangelical responses to the independence struggle: the conservatives, particularly the Church of England in South Africa, became “havens” for conservative white Evangelicals fleeing the ‘radical liberalism’ of the SACC; the pragmatists, including the Rhema Bible Church, were first apolitical and slowly politicized as the movement gained momentum in the 1980s; proponents of the ‘third way,’ like African Enterprise, attempted to opposed Apartheid but espoused a gradualist, nonviolent form of opposition; the ‘liberationists,’ encapsulated most famously the Apostolic Faith Mission’s Frank Chikane, participated openly in anti-Apartheid politics and tried to ally themselves with the SACC through organizations like the African Independent Church Association (AICA), and finally, some, such as Nicholas Bhengu’s Back to God Movement, “transcended political categories and asserted the alternative values of the kingdom of God” through their belief in “the right to reach our hand to God in the unseen World.”[208] This last category is the one into which the ZCC roughly fits, though not quite.

During the Apartheid period, the ZCC’s ‘apolitical’ positioning often invited accusations of being a collaborationist institution by anti-Apartheid activists. Schoffeleers, for instance, describes the strange experience of journalist Allister Sparks, who visited the ZCC’s Moria headquarters in 1982. In an all-black church, Sparks saw portraits of Afrikaner heroes and white leaders and a replica of the Voortrekker Monument. In 1960, Minister of Bantu Administration and Development, Daan de wet Nel, visited the ZCC’s Easter celebrations.[209] According to Sparks, when another ‘minister of Bantu government’ visited the church in 1965, Edward Lekganyane thanked him for bringing “orderly freedom” to black South Africans.[210] At the 1980 Easter gathering, Bishop Lekganyane called on ZCC members to abide by the government’s homeland policy and other Apartheid laws as domestic and international opposition to the regime was heating up.[211] The political ambiguity of the ZCC is epitomized most infamously by the church’s 75th-anniversary celebration on Easter Sunday in 1985. To the great consternation of the ANC and SACC, the ZCC invited President P.W. Botha to address a crowd of over two million black ZCC members in Moria. Bishop Barnabas Lekganyane felicitated Botha for “his efforts to spread peace and love.”[212] Botha’s speech, punctuated by applause, criticized the “messengers of evil” [213] (assumed to be the ANC and its allies) because “we read in Romans 13 that every person is subject to the governing authorities. Rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad conduct.”[214] Among major SACC leaders like Beyers Naudé and Desmond Tutu, the spectacle of the anniversary celebration elicited shock and disbelief.[215] The same year, Bishop Lekganyane said sanctions were hurting black South Africans and eroding the “goodwill between blacks and whites.”[216]

After 1994, the ZCC emphasized its “spiritual war against hatred amongst fellow South Africans.”[217] In describing their contributions to the struggle against Apartheid, ZCC’s leadership highlighted their work toward moral reconstruction by advocating against addictive substances and violence, their schools, clinics, and contributions to local economies. The work of active resistance, argued the ZCC, could be undertaken by its members outside the church’s purview.[218] In his testimony before the TRC in November 1999, Emmanuel Motolla from the ZCC Bishop’s Council, summed up the church’s position on political activism as follows: “the church never had any problem with any political organisation…[but] in most cases, this church simply keeps quiet.” When questioned by Commissioner Rev. Dr. K. Mgojo about the ZCC’s political disengagement during Apartheid, Motolla stated: “the Zion Christian Church did not lead people into a mode of resistance against apartheid…but we taught our people, all these people who are members of this church, listen to his Grace’s sermons regularly and they are taught nothing less than rejecting that which is evil and unjust.”[219] This leads scholars like Thompson to argue that the idea that “once spiritual problems were taken care of, the social problems would take care of themselves” guided AICs.[220] Since then, things have not changed much.

Once a powerful counter-culture haven “in the heartless world of white political power,”[221] the spaces for prophetic political engagement have opened up and the needs of ZCC congregants have shifted. Still, Engenas Lekganyane’s injunction that “all things end and prayer alone shall remain”[222] — that ‘all may change but Jesus never’[223] — continues to guide the church’s approach to politics even in a transformed external landscape. On the land question, socially powerful churches have the power to both legitimate and delegitimate the market-led system the ANC regime adopted after 1994.[224] In the ZCC’s case, its majority-poor membership would ideally lay the groundwork for a church highly-engaged with land reform and the questions of socio-economic justice latent within it. After 1994, far from needing counter-cultural enclaves, the new South Africa and its disenfranchised — many concentrated in AIC congregations— need directed and resolute justitial-prophetic guidance in politics. Yet, the material prosperity of the Lekganyane family, preachers’ and prophets’ roles as agents of individual and communal healing, and the church’s history of political disengagement all contribute to the ZCC’s political detachment. Moreover, as a civil society actor, the ZCC’s capacity for transformation at the grassroots is limited and ambiguous.[225] In fact, the “redistributive ethic…of the Christian articulation”[226] is largely missing from most of South Africa’s Pentecostal-type churches. The ZCC, in short, carries significant but unfulfilled potential as a liberatory network in the absence of any systemic and critical engagement with the black working-class struggle.[227] 

Conclusion

In 1994, South Africa embarked on one of the most ambitious political and ethical projects of the era of decolonization. Black churches were key players in the South African movement for independence, assuming prophetic-liberatory roles to push back against the Afrikaans ideology (embodied by, among others, Afrikaner churches) that helped underpin and justify Apartheid. After the 1994 election brought the ANC to power, South Africa adopted a mission of post-conflict transformation, epitomized by the spectacle of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), which broadcast the lived experiences of Apartheid into South Africans’ homes (and across the world) into the late 1990s. Today, this reconciliation project stands stalled, and nowhere is this reality more apparent than in the land itself. White South Africans continue to own a majority of the country’s arable territory. The issue of land reconciliation, and the economic grievances it symbolizes, has been the TRC’s major failure and continues to be one of the most salient and divisive issues in the country (and region). South African churches have not been able to play a fruitful role in the land reform debate ever since a short burst of activity in the early 2000s, even though the issue has only become more politically and socially relevant. Why? This paper advances three interrelated explanations. First, the justitial-prophetic capacity of the SACC, once the chief prophet of liberation and reconciliation, has declined. Second, the nature of South African Christianity is undergoing a significant transformation, with Pentecostal-type African-Initiated Churches (AICs) becoming increasingly influential. And third, analyzing the biggest AIC in South Africa —- the Zion Christian Church — I argue that most AICs in South Africa are politically unengaged, which holds critical implications for theological contributions to the land justice debate. Altogether, this paper highlights both the ambiguity of church roles in South Africa and on the continent as well as some of the complex social, political, and economic relationships transforming South Africa’s public Christianities.


About the Author

Ankushi A. Mitra is a senior at Georgetown University’s International Politics-Security Studies Program, where she holds the Junior Centennial Fellowship. She is interested in displacement, subaltern citizen-making, and development in the Middle East and Africa, which she will be pursuing further through an M.Sc. in International Development in 2020-2021. This project was made possible with generous assistance from Georgetown’s John & Pat Figge Fellowship, with constant advice and support from Dr. Lahra Smith at the African Studies Program, Dr. Drew Christiansen, S.J. at the Catholic Studies Program, and the wonderful 2019-2020 Figge fellowship cohort.


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Endnotes

[1] “F. W. de Klerk – Acceptance and Nobel Lecture,” The Nobel Prize, December 10th, 1993. Accessed at: https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/1993/klerk/26129-f-w-de-klerk-nobel-lecture-1993/.

[2] “Presentation Speech by Francis Sejersted, Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee,” The Nobel Prize, December 10th, 1993. Accessed at: https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/1993/ceremony-speech/.

[3] “Presentation Speech by Francis Sejersted, Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee,” The Nobel Prize, December 10th, 1993. Accessed at: https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/1993/ceremony-speech/.

[4] “Nelson Mandela – Acceptance and Nobel Lecture,” The Nobel Prize, December 10th, 1993. Accessed at: https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/1993/mandela/26130-nelson-mandela-nobel-lecture-1993/.

[5] “Presentation Speech by Francis Sejersted, Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee,” The Nobel Prize, December 10th, 1993. Accessed at: https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/1993/ceremony-speech/.

[6] “Land Audit Report,” Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, Republic of South Africa, November 2017, pp. 7-9.

[7] Wessel Bentley, “Redefining Christianity’s ‘Prophetic Witness’ in the Post-Apartheid South African Democracy,” Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae 39(1) (2013), pp. 261-262.

[8] Ian Nell, “In Search of Meaning: Moving from the Prophet’s Voice to Prophecy in Community: A South African Perspective,” Scriptura 102 (2009), pp. 562-578.

[9] Peter Walshe, “South Africa: Prophetic Christianity and the Liberation Movement,” The Journal of Modern African Studies 29(1) (March 1991), pp. 27-60.

[10] The last two sections of the paper, which focus on AICs and the Zion Christian Church, also use the terminology of ‘prophets.’ In that context, I am referring not to ‘prophetic voice’ but rather the technical position of ‘prophet,’ prophetic healing, and prophetic preaching within the ZCC (Mashabela, 2017).

[11] Allan Anderson, Zion and Pentecost: The Spirituality and Experience of Pentecostal and Zionist/Apostolic Churches in South Africa (Pretoria: University of South Africa Press, 2000), p. 8.

[12] Allan Anderson, Moya: The Holy Spirit in an African Context  (Pretoria: University of South Africa Press, 1991), p. 3.

[13] Allan Anderson, Zion and Pentecost: The Spirituality and Experience of Pentecostal and Zionist/Apostolic Churches in South Africa (Pretoria: University of South Africa Press, 2000), p. 9.

[14] John W. de Gruchy and Steve de Gruchy, The Church Struggle in South Africa (Minneapolis, MN.: Fortress Press, 2005), p. 40.

[15] Patrick Bond, Elite Transition: From Apartheid to Neoliberalism in South Africa (Pluto Press, 2000);

Deborah James, Gaining Ground? Rights and Property in South African Land Reform (London: Routledge-Cavendish, 2007);

Richard Peet, “Ideology, Discourse, and the Geography of Hegemony: From Socialist to Neoliberal Development in Postapartheid South Africa,” Antipode 34(1) (2002).

[16] Lionel Cliffe, “Land Reform in South Africa,” Review of African Political Economy 27(84) (2000);

Brent McCusker, William G. Moseley, and Maano Ramutsindela, Land Reform in South Africa: An Uneven Transformation (Lanham, MD.: Rowman and Littlefield, 2016);

S. Turner and H. Ibsen, “Land and Agrarian Reform in South Africa: A Status Report,” Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies Report (2000);

[17] Ruth Hall, “A Political Economy of Land Reform in South Africa,” Review of African Political Economy 31(100) (2004);

Edward Lahiff and Ben Cousins, “Smallholder Agriculture and Land Reform in South Africa,” IDS Bulletin 36(2) (2005);

Thembela Kepe and Ruth Hall, “Land Redistribution in South Africa: Towards Decolonisation or Recolonisation?” Politikon 45(1) (2018);

Busani Mpofu, “The Urban Land Question, Land Reform and the Spectre of Extrajudicial Land Occupations in South Africa,” Africa Insight 46(4) (2017);

Noor Nieftagodien, “The Economic Freedom Fighters and the Politics of Memory and Forgetting,” South Atlantic Quarterly 114(2) (2015).

[18] Gerrit Schutte, “Company and Colonists at the Cape, 1652-1795,” in The Shaping of South African Society, 1652-1840, edited by Richard Elphick and Hermann Giliomee (Middletown, CT.: Wesleyan University Press, 1989), pp. 283-323;

Leonard Guelke, “Freehold Farmers and Frontier Settlers, 1657-1780,” in The Shaping of South African Society, 1652-1840, edited by Richard Elphick and Hermann Giliomee (Middletown, CT.: Wesleyan University Press, 1989), pp. 66-108.

[19] The Apartheid (separateness) agenda developed through, among others, the 1911 Mines and Works Act, which limited black employment, the 1913 Land Act, which restricted black South Africans to particular enclaves (the ‘native homelands’ or ‘Bantustans’), the 1923 Native Urban Areas Act, which controlled black access to urban land, the 1936 Representation of Natives Act, which created a separate African electorate to be represented by white politicians, the 1949 Mixed Marriages Act and 1950 Immorality Act, which circumscribed African and non-African unions, the 1950 Group Acts, which classified residential areas along Colored, African, and White lines, the 1952 Documents Act, which strengthened the Apartheid surveillance state, the 1953 Separate Amenities Act, and the 1953 Bantu Education Act, which mediated black access to education (Chiwengo, pp. 50-53; Hope and Young, pp. 32-33).

[20] John W. de Gruchy and Steve de Gruchy, The Church Struggle in South Africa (Minneapolis, MN.: Fortress Press, 2005), p. 1-15;

Marjorie Hope and James Young, The South African Churches in a Revolutionary Situation (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1981), p. 25-30;

Tamara Rice Lave, “A Nation at Prayer, a Nation in Hate: Apartheid in South Africa,” Stanford Journal of International Law 30(483) (1994), pp. 483-524;

Susan Rennie Ritner, “The Dutch Reformed Church and Apartheid,” Journal of Contemporary History 2(4) (October 1967), p. 17-37.

It is crucial to acknowledge that while the system of racial domination espoused by the Dutch Afrikaner population is wrapped up in very specific political-theological developments and the British tended to be different in their approach to missionary work, the treatment of black South Africans, and notions of sacred destiny, there was no shortage of similar ideas among the British either. Cecil Rhodes, for instance, felt that “only one race approached God’s ideal type, his own Anglo-Saxon race; God’s purpose then was to make the Anglo-Saxon race predominant.” (de Gruchy and de Gruchy, p. 33).

[21] Cheryl I. Harris, “Whiteness as Property,” Harvard Law Review 106(8) (June 1993), pp. 1707-1791.

[22] Tamara Rice Lave, “A Nation at Prayer, a Nation in Hate: Apartheid in South Africa,” Stanford Journal of International Law 30(483) (1994), pp. 483-484.

[23] John W. de Gruchy and Steve de Gruchy, The Church Struggle in South Africa (Minneapolis, MN.: Fortress Press, 2005), p. 102.

[24] See, among others, the Rosettenville Conference (1949), ANC Freedom Charter (1955), Cottesloe Declaration (1960), A Message to the People of South Africa (1968), The Apartheid and the Church Report (1972), Programme to Combat Racism (1969), the Hammanskraal Conscientious Objection Resolution (1974), the 1980 WCC Consultation, Testimonies to the Eloff Commission (1982), and the Kairos Document (1985);

Marjorie Hope and James Young, The South African Churches in a Revolutionary Situation (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1981), pp. 15-45;

Anthony Balcomb, “From Apartheid to the New Dispensation: Evangelicals and the Democratization of South Africa,” in Evangelical Christianity and Democracy in Africa, edited by Terence Ranger (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), pp. 191-224;

Peter Walshe, “Church versus State in South Africa: The Christian Institute and the Resurgence of African Nationalism,” Journal of Church and State 19(3) (Autumn 1977), pp. 457-479;

Peter Walshe, “The Evolution of Liberation Theology in South Africa,” Journal of Law and Religion 5(2) (1987), pp. 299-311. 

[25] “A Message to the People of South Africa,” Theological Commission of the South African Council of Churches, 1968.

[26] “Presentation Speech by Egil Aarvik, Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee,” The Nobel Prize, 1984. Accessed at: https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/1984/ceremony-speech/.

[27] Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela (Little Brown, 2008), pp. 87-97. 

[28] William Beinart, Twentieth-Century South Africa (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), pp. 263-300.

[29] “Constitution of the Republic of South Africa,” Act 200 of 1993, Republic of South Africa.

[30] “Constitution of the Republic of South Africa,” Act 200 of 1993, Republic of South Africa.

[31] Guillermo O’Donnell and Philippe C. Schmitter, Transitions from Authoritarian Rule: Tentative Conclusions about Uncertain Democracies (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986).

[32] Justice Richard Goldstone, quoted in “Volume I: Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa Report,” Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa, October 29th, 1998, p. 104.

[33] “Volume I: Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa Report,” Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa, October 29th, 1998, p. 108.

[34] Desmond Tutu, “God-Given Dignity and the Quest for Liberation,” Address to the National Conference of the South African Council of Churches, July 1973.

[35] Agata Fijalkowski, “Truth and Reconciliation Commissions,” in An Introduction to Transitional Justice, edited by Olivera Simić (New York: Routledge, 2017), p. 101;

Desmond Tutu, No Future Without Forgiveness (New York: Doubleday, 1999).

[36] John W. de Gruchy and Steve de Gruchy, The Church Struggle in South Africa (Minneapolis, MN.: Fortress Press, 2005), p. 224. 

[37] Kader Asmal, Louise Asmal, and Ronald Suresh Roberts, Reconciliation Through Truth: A Reckoning of Apartheid’s Criminal Governance (South Africa: David Philip Publishers, 1997), p. 49. 

[38] Agata Fijalkowski, “Truth and Reconciliation Commissions,” in An Introduction to Transitional Justice, edited by Olivera Simić (New York: Routledge, 2017), p. 102.

[39] “Volume VII: Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa Report,” Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa, October 29th, 1998, p. 1.

[40] Megan Shore, Religion and Conflict Resolution: Christianity and South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (Ashgate, 2009).

[41] Richard Wilson, “Reconciliation and Revenge in Post-Apartheid South Africa,” Current Anthropology 41(1) (2000), p. 82; “Facing the Second Day of the TRC Hearings,” Sunday Times Heritage Project. Accessed at: http://sthp.saha.org.za/memorial/articles/facing_the_second_day_of_the_trc_hearings.htm;“Washing Past Victims’ Feet Won’t Redeem this Former Apartheid Leader,” Quartz Africa, October 7th, 2015. Accessed at: https://qz.com/africa/517401/washing-past-victims-feet-wont-redeem-this-former-apartheid-leader/; Catherine M. Cole, Performing South Africa’s Truth Commission: Stages of Transition (Bloomington, IN.: Indiana University Press, 2010).

[42] “Ernest Malgas Tombstone Unveiled in Port Elizabeth,” SABC News. Accessed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ey7XWetG0f0.

[43] Catherine M. Cole, Performing South Africa’s Truth Commission: Stages of Transition (Bloomington, IN.: Indiana University Press, 2010), pp. 128-129.

[44] “Facing the Second Day of the TRC Hearings,” Sunday Times Heritage Project. Accessed at: http://sthp.saha.org.za/memorial/articles/facing_the_second_day_of_the_trc_hearings.htm

[45] Megan Shore, Religion and Conflict Resolution: Christianity and South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (Ashgate, 2009), pp. 88-89.

[46] Catherine M. Cole, Performing South Africa’s Truth Commission: Stages of Transition (Bloomington, IN.: Indiana University Press, 2010), p. 129. 

[47] “What South Africa can Teach the U.S. about Reparations,” Washington Post, June 25th, 2019; “Special Report: Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation,” The Guardian, June 24th, 2014.

[48] Agata Fijalkowski, “Truth and Reconciliation Commissions,” in An Introduction to Transitional Justice, edited by Olivera Simić (New York: Routledge, 2017); Martha Minow, Between Vengeance and Forgiveness: Facing History after Genocide and Mass Violence (Boston, MA.: Beacon Press, 1998), p. xii.

[49] Cynthia Ngeweu, quoted in Lyn Graybill, Truth and Reconciliation in South Africa: Miracle or Model? (Boulder, CO.: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2002), p. 34.

[50] Piet Meiring, “Truth and Reconciliation: The South African Experience,” The Expository Times, 2002, p. 79. 

[51] Desmond Tutu, No Future Without Forgiveness (New York: Doubleday, 1999), p. 251.

[52] Martine Mariotti and Johan Fourie, “The Economics of Apartheid: An Introduction,” Economic History of Developing Regions 29(2) (2014), pp. 113-125.

[53] “South Africans Rich and Poor: Baseline Household Statistics,” Project for Statistics on Living Standards and Development, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town, 1993, p. 47. 

[54] “South Africans Rich and Poor: Baseline Household Statistics,” Project for Statistics on Living Standards and Development, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town, 1993, p. 65.

[55] “South Africans Rich and Poor: Baseline Household Statistics,” Project for Statistics on Living Standards and Development, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town, 1993, p. 81, p. 86.

[56]“South Africans Rich and Poor: Baseline Household Statistics,” Project for Statistics on Living Standards and Development, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town, 1993, p. 220.

[57] “South Africans Rich and Poor: Baseline Household Statistics,” Project for Statistics on Living Standards and Development, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town, 1993, p. 314.

[58] “South Africans Rich and Poor: Baseline Household Statistics,” Project for Statistics on Living Standards and Development, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town, 1993, p. 290.

[59] “South Africans Rich and Poor: Baseline Household Statistics,” Project for Statistics on Living Standards and Development, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town, 1993, p. 293.

[60] “South Africans Rich and Poor: Baseline Household Statistics,” Project for Statistics on Living Standards and Development, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town, 1993, p. 296.

[61] William Beinart, Twentieth-Century South Africa (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), p. 313. 

[62] Megan Shore, Religion and Conflict Resolution: Christianity and South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (Ashgate, 2009), p. 103.

[63] Megan Shore, Religion and Conflict Resolution: Christianity and South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (Ashgate, 2009), p. 103.

[64] “Volume VI: Report of the Reparation and Rehabilitation Committee,” Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa, October 29th, 1998, p. 94. 

[65] Megan Shore, Religion and Conflict Resolution: Christianity and South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (Ashgate, 2009), p. 103.

[66] “Volume VI: Report of the Reparation and Rehabilitation Committee,” Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa, October 29th, 1998, p. 94. 

[67] Mahmood Mamdani, “Amnesty or Impunity? A Preliminary Critique of the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa (TRC),” Diacritics 32(3/4) (Autumn-Winter 2002), p. 57.

[68] Mahmood Mamdani, “Amnesty or Impunity? A Preliminary Critique of the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa (TRC),” Diacritics 32(3/4) (Autumn-Winter 2002), p. 57.

[69] “Volume VII: Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa Report,” Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa, October 29th, 1998.

[70] Parker Shipton, “Land and Culture in Tropical Africa: Soils, Symbols, and the Metaphysics of the Mundane,” Annual Review of Anthropology 23 (1994), p. 347.

[71] Edward Lahiff, “ ‘Willing Buyer, Willing Seller’: South Africa’s Failed Experiment in Market-Led Agrarian Reform,” Third World Quarterly 28(8) (2007), p. 1578.

[72] Klaus Deininger and Julian May, “Can There be Growth with Equity? An Initial Assessment of Land Reform in South Africa,” World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, 2000, p. 5.

[73] Edward Lahiff, “ ‘Willing Buyer, Willing Seller’: South Africa’s Failed Experiment in Market-Led Agrarian Reform,” Third World Quarterly 28(8) (2007), p. 1578.

[74] Klaus Deininger and Julian May, “Can There be Growth with Equity? An Initial Assessment of Land Reform in South Africa,” World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, 2000, p. 5.

[75] Edward Lahiff, “ ‘Willing Buyer, Willing Seller’: South Africa’s Failed Experiment in Market-Led Agrarian Reform,” Third World Quarterly 28(8) (2007), p. 1578.

[76] “Population Census 1996 – 10% Sample,” Statistics South Africa, 1996.

[77] “South Africa’s Constitution of 1996 with Amendments through 2012,” The Constitute Project, pp. 18-20.

[78] Edward Lahiff, “‘Willing Buyer, Willing Seller’: South Africa’s Failed Experiment in Market-Led Agrarian Reform,” Third World Quarterly 28(8) (2007), p. 1579; Their contribution to the economy, however, was small – in 1994, it was a mere 4% of the GDP and now averages about 2% (“Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing, Value Added (% of GDP Added) – South Africa,” World Bank Data Bank). Land dispossession in the Apartheid era, then, was a form of domination in the explicit service of white strength, rather than any national development per se.

[79] Edward Lahiff, “ ‘Willing Buyer, Willing Seller’: South Africa’s Failed Experiment in Market-Led Agrarian Reform,” Third World Quarterly 28(8) (2007), p. 1579.

[80] “White Paper on South African Land Policy,” Department of Land Affairs, Republic of South Africa, April 1997, pp. 102-103.

[81] Edward Lahiff, “ ‘Willing Buyer, Willing Seller’: South Africa’s Failed Experiment in Market-Led Agrarian Reform,” Third World Quarterly 28(8) (2007), p. 1579.

[82] Hein Marais, South Africa: Limits to Change: The Political Economy of Transition (Cape Town: University of Cape Town Press, 2001), p. 191.

[83] Edward Lahiff, “ ‘Willing Buyer, Willing Seller’: South Africa’s Failed Experiment in Market-Led Agrarian Reform,” Third World Quarterly 28(8) (2007), p. 1578.

[84] “White Paper on South African Land Policy,” Department of Land Affairs, Republic of South Africa, April 1997.

[85] Klaus Deininger and Julian May, “Can There be Growth with Equity? An Initial Assessment of Land Reform in South Africa,” World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, 2000.

[86] Hein Marais, South Africa: Limits to Change: The Political Economy of Transition (Cape Town: University of Cape Town Press, 2001), p. 191.

[87] “Freedom Charter, Adopted at the Congress of the People at Kliptown, Johannesburg, on June 25 and 26, 1955,” Historical Papers Research Archive, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

[88] Trevor Manual, quoted in Brent McCusker, William G. Moseley, and Maano Ramutsindela, Land Reform in South Africa: An Uneven Transformation (Lanham, MD.: Rowman and Littlefield, 2016), p. 90.

[89] Ruth Hall, “Transforming Rural South Africa? Taking Stock of Land Reform,” in The Land Question in South Africa: The Challenge of Transformation and Redistribution, edited by Lungisile Ntsebeza and Ruth Hall(Cape Town: HSRC Press, 2000), pp. 88-89.

[90] “White Paper on South African Land Policy,” Department of Land Affairs, Republic of South Africa, April 1997.

[91] “White Paper on South African Land Policy,” Department of Land Affairs, Republic of South Africa, April 1997, p. 16. 

[92] Ruth Hall, “Transforming Rural South Africa? Taking Stock of Land Reform,” in The Land Question in South Africa: The Challenge of Transformation and Redistribution, edited by Lungisile Ntsebeza and Ruth Hall(Cape Town: HSRC Press, 2000), p. 88. 

[93] Ruth Hall, “Transforming Rural South Africa? Taking Stock of Land Reform,” in The Land Question in South Africa: The Challenge of Transformation and Redistribution, edited by Lungisile Ntsebeza and Ruth Hall(Cape Town: HSRC Press, 2000), p. 88. 

[94] Ruth Hall, “Transforming Rural South Africa? Taking Stock of Land Reform,” in The Land Question in South Africa: The Challenge of Transformation and Redistribution, edited by Lungisile Ntsebeza and Ruth Hall(Cape Town: HSRC Press, 2000), p. 89. 

[95] “Final Report of the Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture for his Excellency the President of South Africa,” Expert Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture, May 4th, 2019, p. 12.

[96] “Final Report of the Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture for his Excellency the President of South Africa,” Expert Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture, May 4th, 2019, p. 12.

[97] “Final Report of the Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture for his Excellency the President of South Africa,” Expert Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture, May 4th, 2019, p. 12.

[98] “Land Audit Report,” Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, Republic of South Africa, November 2017, pp. 7-9.

[99] Patrick Bond, Elite Transition: From Apartheid to Neoliberalism in South Africa (Pluto Press, 2000), p. 55.

[100] De Villiers, quoted in Jaco S. Dreyer, “Land Reform: A Key Human Rights Issue and a Challenge for Religion in Post-Apartheid South Africa,” in Dreaming the Land: Theologies of Resistance and Hope, edited by Hans-Georg Ziebertz and Friedrich Schweitzer (Brisbane: International Academy of Practical Theology, 2005), p. 40.

[101] “Battle of the Berets,” The Economist, January 10th, 2014. Accessed at: https://www.economist.com/baobab/2014/01/10/battle-of-the-berets.

[102] Ebrahim Fakir, “Fragmentation and Fracture – The Loss of Trust and Confidence in Political Parties,” in SA Elections 2014: Political Opposition – Cohesion, Fracture or Fragmentation? Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa, 2014, p. 5. Accessed at: https://www.eisa.org.za/eu/pdf/electionupdate4.pdf.

[103] “Economic Freedom Fighters Founding Manifesto: Radical Movement Towards Economic Freedom in Our Lifetime,” EFF Online, July 27th, 2013. Accessed at: https://effonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Founding-Manifesto.pdf.

[104] “Economic Freedom Fighters Founding Manifesto: Radical Movement Towards Economic Freedom in Our Lifetime,” EFF Online, July 27th, 2013. Accessed at: https://effonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Founding-Manifesto.pdf.

[105] “2014 National and Provincial Elections: National Results,” Electoral Commission of South Africa, 2014. Accessed at: https://www.elections.org.za/content/Elections/Results/2014-National-and-Provincial-Elections–National-results/.

[106] “What Then About Land Expropriation Without Compensation?” Thabo Mbeki Foundation, 2018, p. 8. Accessed at: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/wp-content/uploads/TMF-NDR.pdf.

[107] “Section 25 Review Process,” Parliamentary Monitoring Group. Accessed at: https://pmg.org.za/page/Section25reviewprocess?via=homepage-feature-card.

[108] “South Africa’s Constitution of 1996 with Amendments through 2012,” The Constitute Project, p. 19.

[109] “ Report of the Joint Constitutional Review Committee on the Possible Review of Section 25 of the Constitution,” Parliamentary Monitoring Group, 15th November 2018.

[110] “Dispute after State Authorised Expropriation of Farm,” News24, 19th August, 2018. Accessed at: https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/state-takes-first-farm-20180818.

[111] “National Assembly – 2019,” Electoral Commission of South Africa, 2019. Accessed at: https://www.elections.org.za/NPEDashboard/app/dashboard.html.

[112] “Final Report of the Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture for his Excellency the President of South Africa,” Expert Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture, May 4th, 2019, p. vi.

[113] Mathole Motshekga, “Section 25 Ad Hoc Committee Will Meet Deadlines – Parliament,” Parliamentary Communication Services, October 11th, 2019. Accessed at: https://www.politicsweb.co.za/news-and-analysis/section-25-ad-hoc-committee-will-meet-deadlines–p.

[114] Brent McCusker, William G. Moseley, and Maano Ramutsindela, Land Reform in South Africa: An Uneven Transformation (Lanham, MD.: Rowman and Littlefield, 2016), p. 121.

[115] Desmond Tutu, quoted in Simanga R. Kumalo and Daglous Dziva, “Paying the Price for Democracy: The Contribution of the Church in the Development of Good Governance in South Africa,” in From Our Side: Emerging Perspectives on Development and Ethics, edited by Steve de Gruchy, Nico Koopman, and Sytse Strijbos (Amsterdam: Rozenberg Publishers, 2008), p. 175.

[116] Charles Villa-Vicencio, A Theology of Reconstruction: Nation-Building and Human Rights (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), p. 21.

[117] Simanga R. Kumalo and Daglous Dziva, “Paying the Price for Democracy: The Contribution of the Church in the Development of Good Governance in South Africa,” in From Our Side: Emerging Perspectives on Development and Ethics, edited by Steve de Gruchy, Nico Koopman, and Sytse Strijbos (Amsterdam: Rozenberg Publishers, 2008), p. 172.

[118] Simanga R. Kumalo and Daglous Dziva, “Paying the Price for Democracy: The Contribution of the Church in the Development of Good Governance in South Africa,” in From Our Side: Emerging Perspectives on Development and Ethics, edited by Steve de Gruchy, Nico Koopman, and Sytse Strijbos (Amsterdam: Rozenberg Publishers, 2008), p. 172.

[119] Vuyani Vellem, “The Symbol of Liberation in South African Public Life: A Black Theological Perspective,” Ph.D. Thesis, 2007, University of Pretoria, p. 366-267.

[120] Charles Villa-Vicencio, A Theology of Reconstruction: Nation-Building and Human Rights (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), pp. 39-41.

[121] Jaco S. Dreyer, “Land Reform: A Key Human Rights Issue and a Challenge for Religion in Post-Apartheid South Africa,” in Dreaming the Land: Theologies of Resistance and Hope, edited by Hans-Georg Ziebertz and Friedrich Schweitzer (Brisbane: International Academy of Practical Theology, 2005), p. 39. 

[122] “Report of the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture and Land Affairs on Pace of Land Reform in South Africa Hearings,” Committee on Agriculture and Land Affairs, 2004. Accessed at: http://pmg-assets.s3-website-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/docs/2004/appendices/041117landreform.htm.

[123] “Report of the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture and Land Affairs on Pace of Land Reform in South Africa Hearings,” Committee on Agriculture and Land Affairs, 2004. Accessed at: http://pmg-assets.s3-website-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/docs/2004/appendices/041117landreform.htm.

[124] Carolyn Bassett, “The South African People’s Budget Campaign as a Challenge to Neoliberal Policy Framework and Methodology,” in Neoliberalism and Globalization of Africa: Contestations on the Embattled Continent (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), pp. 221-239.

[125] “A Mortgaged State: Trends and Patterns, Let Daylight Prevail,” South African Council of Churches, March 17th, 2016. Accessed at: http://sacc.org.za/news/mortgaged-state-trends-patterns-let-daylight-prevail/.

[126] Tracy Kuperus, “The Political Role and Democratic Contribution of Churches in Post-Apartheid South Africa,” Journal of Church and State 53(2) (Spring 2011), p. 290.

[127] Tracy Kuperus, “The Political Role and Democratic Contribution of Churches in Post-Apartheid South Africa,” Journal of Church and State 53(2) (Spring 2011), p. 290.

[128] “The Urgent Need to Reclaim Our Country and Hammer Out a Vision Together,” South African Council of Churches, October 20th, 2017. Accessed at: http://sacc.org.za/news/op-ed-urgent-need-reclaim-country-hammer-vision-together/.

[129] Peter Storey, “Banning the Flag from our Churches: Learning from the Church-State Struggle in South Africa,” in Between Capital and Cathedral: Essays on Church-State Relationships, edited by Wessel Bentley and Dion A. Forster(Unisa: University of South Africa, 2012), p. 13.

[130] Kelebogile T. Resane, “‘Ichabod’ – The Glory has Departed: The Metaphor Showing the Church’s Prophetic Failure in South Africa,” Pharos Journal of Theology 97 (2016), p. 3.

[131] “Anti-Apartheid Fighter Charged with Defrauding Relief Funds,” The New York Times, December 14th, 1996.

[132] Simanga R. Kumalo and Daglous Dziva, “Paying the Price for Democracy: The Contribution of the Church in the Development of Good Governance in South Africa,” in From Our Side: Emerging Perspectives on Development and Ethics, edited by Steve de Gruchy, Nico Koopman, and Sytse Strijbos (Amsterdam: Rozenberg Publishers, 2008), p. 176.

[133] Peter Storey, “Banning the Flag from our Churches: Learning from the Church-State Struggle in South Africa,” in Between Capital and Cathedral: Essays on Church-State Relationships, edited by Wessel Bentley and Dion A. Forster(Unisa: University of South Africa, 2012), p. 15.

[134] Tracy Kuperus, “The Political Role and Democratic Contribution of Churches in Post-Apartheid South Africa,” Journal of Church and State 53(2) (Spring 2011), p. 291.

[135] Peter Storey, “Banning the Flag from our Churches: Learning from the Church-State Struggle in South Africa,” in Between Capital and Cathedral: Essays on Church-State Relationships, edited by Wessel Bentley and Dion A. Forster(Unisa: University of South Africa, 2012), p. 15.

[136] Tracy Kuperus, “Democratization, Religious Actors, and Political Influence: A Comparison of Christian Councils in Ghana and South Africa,” Africa Today 64(3) (Spring 2018), p. 39.

[137] “SACC Excluded from Interfaith Council,” IOL News, 19th August, 2009. Accessed at: https://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/sacc-excluded-from-interfaith-council-455696.

[138] Tracy Kuperus, “Democratization, Religious Actors, and Political Influence: A Comparison of Christian Councils in Ghana and South Africa,” Africa Today 64(3) (Spring 2018), p. 39.

[139] Tracy Kuperus, “Democratization, Religious Actors, and Political Influence: A Comparison of Christian Councils in Ghana and South Africa,” Africa Today 64(3) (Spring 2018), p. 40.

[140] Mookgo S. Kgatle, “The Prophetic Voice of the South African Council of Churches: A Weak Voice in Post-1994 South Africa,” HTS: Theological Studies 74(1) (2018), pp. 2-3.

[141] Tracy Kuperus, “Democratization, Religious Actors, and Political Influence: A Comparison of Christian Councils in Ghana and South Africa,” Africa Today 64(3) (Spring 2018), p. 40.

[142] Tracy Kuperus, “Democratization, Religious Actors, and Political Influence: A Comparison of Christian Councils in Ghana and South Africa,” Africa Today 64(3) (Spring 2018), p. 43.

[143] Allan Anderson, Zion and Pentecost: The Spirituality and Experience of Pentecostal and Zionist/Apostolic Churches in South Africa (Pretoria: University of South Africa Press, 2000), p. 8.

[144] Allan Anderson, Moya: The Holy Spirit in an African Context  (Pretoria: University of South Africa Press, 1991), pp. 2-5.

[145] Martin West, Bishops and Prophets in a Black City: African Independent Churches in Soweto, Johannesburg (Cape Town: David Philip, 1975), pp. 190-191. 

[146] Martin West, Bishops and Prophets in a Black City: African Independent Churches in Soweto, Johannesburg (Cape Town: David Philip, 1975), p. 192.

[147] Terence Ranger, “Introduction: Evangelical Christianity and Democracy in Africa,” in Evangelical Christianity and Democracy in Africa, edited by Terence Ranger (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), p. 6.

[148] James Mashabela, “Healing in a Cultural Context: The Role of Healing as a Defining Character in the Growth and Popular Faith of the Zion Christian Church,” Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae 43(2) (2017), p. 12.

[149] Martin West, Bishops and Prophets in a Black City: African Independent Churches in Soweto, Johannesburg (Cape Town: David Philip, 1975), p. 192-194.

[150] Martin West, Bishops and Prophets in a Black City: African Independent Churches in Soweto, Johannesburg (Cape Town: David Philip, 1975), pp. 87-88.

[151] Glen Thompson, “‘Transported Away’: The Spirituality and Piety of Charismatic Christianity in South Africa (1976-1994),” Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 118 (March 2004), p. 128.

[152] “Global Christianity: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World’s Christian Population,” Pew Research Center, December 19th, 2011. 

[153] “Primary Tables South Africa: Census ’96 and 2001 Compared,” Statistics South Africa, 2004, p. 24. Accessed at: http://www.statssa.gov.za/census/census_2001/primary_tables/RSAPrimary.pdf

[154] “The Age Gap in Religion Around the World,” Pew Research Center, June 13th, 2018.

[155] “Primary Tables South Africa: Census ’96 and 2001 Compared,” Statistics South Africa, 2004, p. 24. Accessed at: http://www.statssa.gov.za/census/census_2001/primary_tables/RSAPrimary.pdf

[156] “Tolerance and Tension: Islam and Christianity in Sub-Saharan Africa,” Pew Research Center, April 15th, 2010, p. 20.

[157] “General Household Survey,” Statistics South Africa, 2013, p. 12. Accessed at: https://www.statssa.gov.za/publications/P0318/P03182013.pdf

[158] “South African Social Attitudes Survey 2014 (SASAS) Microdata,” Human Sciences Research Council, 2014.

[159] Allan Anderson, “The Lekganyanes and Prophecy in the Zion Christian Church,” Journal of Religion in Africa 29(3) (August 1999), p. 286.

[160] “Community Survey in Brief,” Statistics South Africa, 2016, pp. 40-41. Accessed at: https://www.statssa.gov.za/publications/03-01-06/03-01-062016.pdf

[161] Paul Gifford, African Christianity: Its Public Role (Bloomington, IN.: Indiana University Press, 1998), p. 329.

[162] Allan Anderson, “The Lekganyanes and Prophecy in the Zion Christian Church,” Journal of Religion in Africa 29(3) (August 1999), p. 285.

[163] Allan Anderson, “The Lekganyanes and Prophecy in the Zion Christian Church,” Journal of Religion in Africa 29(3) (August 1999), pp. 287-289.

[164] Allan Anderson, “The Lekganyanes and Prophecy in the Zion Christian Church,” Journal of Religion in Africa 29(3) (August 1999), p. 290.

[165] Martin West, Bishops and Prophets in a Black City: African Independent Churches in Soweto, Johannesburg (Cape Town: David Philip, 1975), p. 50.

[166] Marjorie Hope and James Young, The South African Churches in a Revolutionary Situation (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1981), pp. 192 -193. 

[167] Allan Anderson, Zion and Pentecost: The Spirituality and Experience of Pentecostal and Zionist/Apostolic Churches in South Africa (Pretoria: University of South Africa Press, 2000), p. 8.

[168] Barry Morton, “Engenas Lekganyane and the Early ZCC: Oral Texts and Documents,” unpublished. 

[169] Retief Müller, African Pilgrimage: Ritual Travel in South Africa’s Christianity of Zion (Ashgate, 2011), p. 7.

[170] “Nothing Unholy about ZCC’s Financial Affairs,” ENCA, February 17th, 2016. Accessed at: https://www.enca.com/south-africa/zccs-financial-affairs-order-church-council;

Joanne O’Brien and Martin Palmer, The Atlas of Religion (Oakland: University of California Press, 2007), pp. 48-49. 

[171] Retief Müller, “The Zion Christian Church and Global Christianity: Negotiating a Tightrope between Localisation and Globalisation,” Religion 45(2) (2015), pp. 180-182.

[172] Allan Anderson, “The Lekganyanes and Prophecy in the Zion Christian Church,” Journal of Religion in Africa 29(3) (August 1999), p. 285.

[173] “Zion Church’s Finances to Remain Private,” IOL News, 16th February, 2016. Accessed at: https://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/limpopo/zion-churchs-finances-to-remain-private-1985397.

[174] Matthew Schoffeleers, “The Zion Christian Church and the Apartheid Regime’, Leidschrift (Leiden) 4(3) (1988), p. 49.

[175] “A Surprising Silent Majority in South Africa,” The New York Times, April 17th, 1994.

[176] Glen Thompson, “‘Transported Away’: The Spirituality and Piety of Charismatic Christianity in South Africa (1976-1994),” Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 118 (March 2004), p. 129.

[177] Anthony Balcomb, “From Apartheid to the New Dispensation: Evangelicals and the Democratization of South Africa,” Journal of Religion in Africa 34(1/2) (Feb.-May 2004), p. 7; Terence Ranger, “Introduction: Evangelical Christianity and Democracy in Africa,” in Evangelical Christianity and Democracy in Africa, edited by Terence Ranger (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), pp. 3-35.

[178] Paul Gifford, African Christianity: Its Public Role (Bloomington, IN.: Indiana University Press, 1998), pp. 31-32.  

[179] Jean Comaroff, Body of Power, Spirit of Resistance: The Culture and History of a South African People (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1985), p. 238. 

[180] Paul Gifford, African Christianity: Its Public Role (Bloomington, IN.: Indiana University Press, 1998), p. 32.

[181] Matthew Schoffeleers, “Ritual Healing and Political Acquiescence: The Case of the Zionist Churches in Southern Africa,” Africa: Journal of the International African Institute 61(1) (1991), p. 2.

[182] Terence Ranger, “Introduction: Evangelical Christianity and Democracy in Africa,” in Evangelical Christianity and Democracy in Africa, edited by Terence Ranger (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), pp. 3-35.

[183] Matthew Schoffeleers, “The Zion Christian Church and the Apartheid Regime’, Leidschrift (Leiden) 4(3) (1988), p. 51.

[184] Paul Gifford, African Christianity: Its Public Role (Bloomington, IN.: Indiana University Press, 1998), pp. 338-342.

[185] Matthew Schoffeleers, “Ritual Healing and Political Acquiescence: The Case of the Zionist Churches in Southern Africa,” Africa: Journal of the International African Institute 61(1) (1991), p. 3.

[186] Tracy Kuperus, “The Political Role and Democratic Contribution of Churches in Post-Apartheid South Africa,” Journal of Church and State 53(2) (Spring 2011), p. 282.

[187] Paul Gifford, African Christianity: Its Public Role (Bloomington, IN.: Indiana University Press, 1998), pp. 340-342.

[188] Terence Ranger, “Conference Summary and Conclusion,” in The Christian Churches and the Democratisation of Africa, edited by Paul Gifford(Brill, 1995), p. 25. 

[189] Retief Müller, African Pilgrimage: Ritual Travel in South Africa’s Christianity of Zion (Ashgate, 2011), p. 49.

[190] Allan Anderson, “New African Initiated Pentecostalism and Charismatics in South Africa,” Journal of Religion in Africa 35(1) (2005), p. 68.

[191] Retief Müller, “The Zion Christian Church and Global Christianity: Negotiating a Tightrope between Localisation and Globalisation,” Religion 45(2) (2015), p. 182.

[192] Allan Anderson, “The Lekganyanes and Prophecy in the Zion Christian Church,” Journal of Religion in Africa 29(3) (August 1999), p. 308.

[193] Allan Anderson, “New African Initiated Pentecostalism and Charismatics in South Africa,” Journal of Religion in Africa 35(1) (2005), pp. 69-74.

[194] Allan Anderson, “New African Initiated Pentecostalism and Charismatics in South Africa,” Journal of Religion in Africa 35(1) (2005), p. 69.

[195] Allan Anderson, “The Lekganyanes and Prophecy in the Zion Christian Church,” Journal of Religion in Africa 29(3) (August 1999), p. 298.

[196] Allan Anderson, “The Lekganyanes and Prophecy in the Zion Christian Church,” Journal of Religion in Africa 29(3) (August 1999), pp. 297-301. 

[197] Matthew Schoffeleers, “Ritual Healing and Political Acquiescence: The Case of the Zionist Churches in Southern Africa,” Africa: Journal of the International African Institute 61(1) (1991), p. 1.

[198] Allan Anderson, Bazalwane: African Pentecostals in South Africa (University of South Africa, 1992), p. 77.

[199] Retief Müller, African Pilgrimage: Ritual Travel in South Africa’s Christianity of Zion (Ashgate, 2011), p. 51. 

[200] Retief Müller, “The Zion Christian Church and Global Christianity: Negotiating a Tightrope between Localisation and Globalisation,” Religion 45(2) (2015), p. 182.

[201] Allan Anderson, “The Lekganyanes and Prophecy in the Zion Christian Church,” Journal of Religion in Africa 29(3) (August 1999), p. 298.

[202] Allan Anderson, “The Lekganyanes and Prophecy in the Zion Christian Church,” Journal of Religion in Africa 29(3) (August 1999), p. 302.

[203] Allan Anderson, “The Lekganyanes and Prophecy in the Zion Christian Church,” Journal of Religion in Africa 29(3) (August 1999), p. 298.

[204] Barry Morton, “Engenas Lekganyane and the Early ZCC: Oral Texts and Documents,” unpublished.

[205] Allan Anderson, “The Lekganyanes and Prophecy in the Zion Christian Church,” Journal of Religion in Africa 29(3) (August 1999), pp. 298-300.

[206] Allan Anderson, “The Lekganyanes and Prophecy in the Zion Christian Church,” Journal of Religion in Africa 29(3) (August 1999), p. 304.

[207] Matthew Schoffeleers, “The Zion Christian Church and the Apartheid Regime’, Leidschrift (Leiden) 4(3) (1988), p. 47. 

[208] Anthony Balcomb, “From Apartheid to the New Dispensation: Evangelicals and the Democratization of South Africa,” Journal of Religion in Africa 34(1/2) (Feb.-May 2004), pp. 9-24.

[209] Matthew Schoffeleers, “The Zion Christian Church and the Apartheid Regime’, Leidschrift (Leiden) 4(3) (1988), p. 44.

[210] Matthew Schoffeleers, “The Zion Christian Church and the Apartheid Regime’, Leidschrift (Leiden) 4(3) (1988), p. 53.

[211] Matthew Schoffeleers, “The Zion Christian Church and the Apartheid Regime’, Leidschrift (Leiden) 4(3) (1988), p. 44.

[212] Matthew Schoffeleers, “The Zion Christian Church and the Apartheid Regime’, Leidschrift (Leiden) 4(3) (1988), p. 42.

[213] Matthew Schoffeleers, “The Zion Christian Church and the Apartheid Regime’, Leidschrift (Leiden) 4(3) (1988), pp. 42-43. 

[214] “Botha in Address to a Black Sect, Warns Against Evil From Abroad,” The New York Times, April 8th, 1985.

[215] Matthew Schoffeleers, “The Zion Christian Church and the Apartheid Regime’, Leidschrift (Leiden) 4(3) (1988), pp. 44-45. 

[216] Matthew Schoffeleers, “The Zion Christian Church and the Apartheid Regime’, Leidschrift (Leiden) 4(3) (1988), p. 54.

[217] “Zion Christian Church His Grade Bishop B.E. Lekganyane,” Statement to the TRC, TRC Faith Community Hearings, 18th November, 1997.

[218] “Zion Christian Church His Grade Bishop B.E. Lekganyane,” Statement to the TRC, TRC Faith Community Hearings, 18th November, 1997.

[219] “Zion Christian Church Testimony Before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission,” TRC Faith Community Hearings, 19th November, 1997.

[220] Glen Thompson, “‘Transported Away’: The Spirituality and Piety of Charismatic Christianity in South Africa (1976-1994),” Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 118 (March 2004), p. 135.

[221] Peter Walshe, Prophetic Christianity and the Liberation Movement in South Africa (Pietermaritzburg, South Africa: Cluster Publications, 1995) p. 110. 

[222] Barry Morton, “Engenas Lekganyane and the Early ZCC: Oral Texts and Documents,” unpublished.  

[223] Glen Thompson, “‘Transported Away’: The Spirituality and Piety of Charismatic Christianity in South Africa (1976-1994),” Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 118 (March 2004), p. 129. 

[224] Robert Garner, “African Independent Churches and Economic Development in Edendale,” in Engaging Modernity: Methods and Cases for Studying African Independent Churches in South Africa, edited by Dawid Venter (Westport, CT.: Praeger, 2004), pp. 78-82. 

[225] Robert Garner, “Religion as a Source of Social Change in the New South Africa,” Journal of Religion in Africa 30(3) (2000).

[226] Robert Garner, “African Independent Churches and Economic Development in Edendale,” in Engaging Modernity: Methods and Cases for Studying African Independent Churches in South Africa, edited by Dawid Venter (Westport, CT.: Praeger, 2004), p. 82.

[227] Itumeleng J. Mosala, “Biblical Hermeneutics and Black Theology in South Africa,” Ph.D. Thesis, February 1987, University of Cape Town, pp. 222-223.