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“I receive this honour and award on behalf of the many whose rights are trampled and the many in our churches across this great continent who work tirelessly to ensure democracy, governance, human rights and the rule of law are upheld,” archbishop Thabo Makgoba (second from right) said in a press statement.  Photo: Supplied

Elders gesien: Churches on the continent honour SA’s Thabo Makgoba  


Archbishop Thabo Makgoba recently received recognition from the All Africa Conference  of Churches  (AACC) at a ceremony held in Nigeria. 

From all over Africa 63 candidates were nominated, six were shortlisted and, after a process of thorough interviews with the six candidates, the South African church leader was announced as the first winner of this organisation’s Human Rights Award.

“I receive this honour and award on behalf of the many whose rights are trampled and the many in our churches across this great continent who work tirelessly to ensure democracy, governance, human rights and the rule of law are upheld,” Makgoba said in a press statement.  

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The AACC is an ecumenical body of over 200 million Christians across the African continent. The Dutch Reformed Church is a member.  Dr Gustav Claassen (on the right) attend the conference. Photo: Supplied

The award aims to recognise those who have made particularly significant contributions to the promotion and protection of human and peoples’ rights, governance, and the rule of law in Africa. 

The Church has a new struggle … Against bad governance, corruption, a struggle to regain our moral compass, Makgoba, the archbishop of Cape Town and the president of the South African Council of Churches, said. 

Makgoba spoke about the church’s task to call upon political elites to be accountable to voters and, instead of pocketing the wealth of their countries, to govern in the interests of the poorest of the poor.

The Dutch Reformed Church was one of two churches that nominated Makgoba for this award. “We believe that he will continue to play his part and that a high priority will be given to ensure that the God-given rights of all God’s children, in Africa and beyond, are respected by governments and other actors in society,” dr Gustav Claassen, the general secretary of the DRC, said. 

The AACC is an ecumenical body of over 200 million Christians across the African continent. The Dutch Reformed Church is a member. 


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