The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission: Rev. James Buys at the Microphone
On October 19, 1997, Rev. James Buys presented the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa’s submission to the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). He firstly reported on the extent to which URCSA, through its theology and activities, contributed to the violation of human rights during the years of apartheid, especially referring to the church’s stance on the notorious Group Areas Act, the government’s Labour Policy, the Mixed Marriages Act and the chaplain services. For all of this, a heartfelt apology was rendered. Buys, secondly, reported on the decisions and actions taken by URCSA during the 1970s and 1980s to resist apartheid, ranging from prophetic statements by individuals and synods, to eventually taking an active part in the struggle against apartheid. The role that the ecumenical community inside as well as outside South Africa had played to encourage and empower URCSA to define its message and actions, was also mentioned by Buys. Concluding his statement, Buys discussed URCSA’s recommendations for the process of reconciliation in South Africa. The author, who was present at the Faith Communities Hearing when Buys addressed the TRC, added a number of personal remarks pertaining to URCSA’s statement and to the role that URCSA is called to play on the road to reconciliation and nation-building in the country.
Copyright (c) 2019 Pieter Gerhard J Meiring
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).