Remarkable People

ID #5153

Beyers Naude, Predikant (Minister), NGK Aasvoelkop, Linden, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa.

There are many reasons why I find South and Southern Africa to be the most astonishing place in the world. These include, amongst others, its amazing flora and fauna, natural beauty, cultural diversity, etc. There is saying which captures this emotion: “Once you have drunk from the waters of the Olifants River, you can never forget it”. However, one of its most astounding features is its ability to produce men and women of unshakeable integrity. Ordinary men and women who do extraordinary things.  

Most famous among them include Nelson Mandela and Bishop Tutu. However, they are not alone. There are others that are less well-known but equally remarkable. One such person was Beyers Naude.

The National Party, architects of Apartheid, came to power in 1948. Since most people in South Africa, and in particular, most whites are deeply religious, they needed to create a Biblical justification for their notorious policies. So they set about infiltrating and controlling the most influential church in the European community – i.e. the Nationale Gereformeerde Kerk or NGK. Bear in mind that this was done stealthily by a group of extreme nationalists called the Broederbond, which was a secret organization to which only the most powerful and influential Afrikaners were invited.

One person who had risen to the very apex of the NGK was Beyers Naude. Initially, like other South Africans, he was unaware of the sinister nature and motives of the Broederbond. However he became increasingly uncomfortable and, in 1962, concluded that the policy of Apartheid was heresy – i.e. contradictory to the teachings of the Bible. Horror of horrors -- he then proceeded to say so in public.

As you might imagine, his position caused shock waves to travel through the community. He had to give up his position in the church, resign as minister of the NGK church (Aasvoelkop) in Linden, his family was ostracised and his children were shunned by their friends. They were eventually forced to sell their home and live in a squatter camp. Yet not once did he fold under the pressure. Perhaps even more remarkably, his wife and family followed him into “exile”.

Most of us know the difference between right and wrong. Yet most of us, in one way or another, fail to do what we know is right. Why is this? Because it is hard to do so -- that there is a price to pay for such righteousness. Yet for 30 years or more Oom Bey as he was affectionately known never flinched. Incidentally, when he died several years ago, senior members of the black community stood at his graveside and wept with grief. Incredibly, they wept at the graveside of a man who was a different colour, spoke a different language, was a member of a different race and culture and a different level of education. South Africa is indeed fortunate that, somehow or other, it produces such men and women.

Alan Mciver

Tags: -

Related entries:

Last update: 2014-03-02 21:45
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.7

Digg it! Print this record Send to a friend Show this as PDF file
Propose a translation for Propose a translation for
Please rate this entry:

Average rating: 5 out of 5 (1 Votes )

completely useless 1 2 3 4 5 most valuable

You cannot comment on this entry