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Original Research

Die reis met kerkeenwording tussen die Verenigende Gereformeerde Kerk in Suider-Afrika en die Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk in Afrika

Mary Anne Plaatjies van Huffel, Johan M. van der Merwe

Verbum et Ecclesia; Vol 33, No 1 (2012), 7 pages. doi: 10.4102/ve.v33i1.724

Submitted: 23 February 2012
Published:  04 December 2012


The journey to church unification between the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa and the Dutch Reformed Church in Africa. The article gives a historical overview of judicial problems that the Dutch Reformed Church (DRMC) and the Dutch Reformed Church in Africa (DRCA) encountered in their journey to church unification. On 14 April 1994 the DRMC and the DRCA merged and the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa (URCSA) came into being. Firstly, attention is given to a historical overview of the unification process. Secondly, the resolutions of the General Synod of the DRCA (1991), the judicial problems that surfaced shortly after the unification between the DRMC and the DRCA, the objections against the unification process and the lawsuit that followed, will be attended to. The unification between the DRMC and the DRCA was tested in court and in 1998 the Supreme Court gave judgment in favor of the DRCA. The verdict indicated that all decisions with regards to church property were ultra vires and that the DRCA as a legal corporate entity remains. The article concludes with a few legal aspects that may be derived from the judgement. The verdict highlights the administration of justice according to established rules and principles, namely that a juristic person cannot be deprived of life, liberty or property without appropriate legal procedures and safeguards. The article proposes that Reformed churches in the South African context should seriously take cognisance of the judgement. This article attempts to identify the important criteria for and characteristics of administration of justice with regard to church unification.

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Author affiliations

Mary Anne Plaatjies van Huffel, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Johan M. van der Merwe, University of Pretoria, South Africa


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ISSN: 1609-9982 (print) | ISSN: 2074-7705 (online)

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