Original Research - Special Collection: Wim Dreyer Dedication

Eerherstel aan Cas Labuschagne – Goed genoeg, betyds genoeg?

André G. Ungerer
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 79, No 1 | a8877 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v79i1.8877 | © 2023 André G. Ungerer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 April 2023 | Published: 01 December 2023

About the author(s)

André G. Ungerer, Reformed Theological College, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract

Rehabilitation for Cas Labuschagne: Good enough, timely enough? During the General Church Assembly of 2010, the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa (NRCA) confessed her previous justification of apartheid as wrongdoing. It led to serious dissatisfaction in the more conservative part of the Church, eventually ending in the painful church schism of 2011. Afterwards, the leadership had to handle several related issues. And then, out of the blue, an outstanding matter arose from the past’s nebulae – unfinished business between the Church and prof. Cas Labuschagne. He was a dissident with prof. Albert Geyser who acted against the church’s justification of apartheid during the sixties. After a fierce struggle and much desperation, he left South Africa for the Netherlands in 1967. Almost 40 years later, in 2008, correspondence occurred between the NRCA and Labuschagne to see if reconciliation was possible, but without any positive results. Labuschagne distrusted the Church’s motives and argued that only a public excuse would settle matters. Due to the run-up to the decision in 2010 and the church schism in 2011, the case gathered some cyber dust. Professors A.G. van Aarde, J. Buitendag and W.A. Dreyer played a prominent role in bringing the outstanding matter of Cas Labuschagne to the attention of the author of this article. It led to a visit in 2017 and more correspondence to clarify issues. Eventually, reconciliation had occurred only a few months before he died in 2019.

Contribution: This article contributes to revealing an untold story in which different leaders of the NRCA played a prominent role. It is about a struggle for reconciliation, events behind the scenes, and a story with a good end – events the church and the academic community should know about.


Keywords

Cas Labuschagne; rehabilitation; Albert Geyser; justification of apartheid; reconciliation; accusation of heresy; dissidents; Christian Institute; Adriaan Pont; NRCA and apartheid.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 10: Reduced inequalities

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