Original Research

Die hervormingsdaggetuienis van agt Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk-dosente op 31 Oktober 1980 – ’n oproep tot hervorming?

Piet J. Strauss
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 39, No 1 | a1872 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v39i1.1872 | © 2018 Piet J. Strauss | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 May 2018 | Published: 26 September 2018

About the author(s)

Piet J. Strauss, Department of Church History and Polity, University of the Free State, South Africa


The witness on Reformation Day, 31 October 1980, by eight Dutch Reformed Church lecturers – a call for reformation? Eight well-known lecturers, members of the Dutch Reformed Church, made a call on Reformation Day, 31 October 1980, for the churches in South Africa to strive for the reformation of the order of society in apartheid South Africa. They pleaded to the churches to help the cause of a new, integrated country based on love, justice and human dignity. Their witness created a climate in the Dutch Reformed Church to criticise the justification of apartheid and paved the way for the documents Church and Society of the general synods of 1986 en 1990. In 1980, the witness created a storm in the Dutch Reformed Church and unofficially announced the start of the end of apartheid in this church.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This article concentrates on the reform of the status quo in the last years of official apartheid in South Africa. Years stretching from more or less 1980 until 1994. The question investigated is: What was meant by a reform of the existing society by the witness on Reformation Day 31 October 1980? The witness as formulated by eight specific Dutch Reformed Church lecturers? This kind of reform as well as the history of this witness in 1980 are matters for church history to investigate, but also show a side for a philosophical sociology, ethics and a contemporary history.


Witness; channel of church; reform of the apartheid society; Strong reaction; Witness in an ecclesiastical and prophetic way; No politics; DR Church divided; JA Heyns initiated Witness; DR Church against apartheid supported; 1986; 1990


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