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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'Men of the cloth': the Federal Theological Seminary of Southern Africa, Inkatha and the struggle against apartheid
Author:Denis, PhilippeISNI
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:Church and State
Christian education
municipal government
anti-apartheid resistance
Inkatha Freedom Party
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/03057070802037985
Abstract:On 25 August 1985, a crowd of a hundred people, led by the mayor of Imbali, Patrick Pakkies, and a member of the KwaZulu legislature, Velaphi Ndlovu, demanded that the staff and students of the Federal Theological Seminary of Southern of Africa (Fedsem) leave their premises by the following Friday, allegedly because they had been instrumental in the school boycott and the street demonstrations organized the same month by the youth in protest against the Imbali Township Council. The seminary community left the area, but they won an interim interdict and came back two weeks later. It is to the history of this episode that this paper is devoted. Did the seminary constitute a threat to the authority of the Imbali Council? To some extent, the Imbali residents who accused Fedsem of being involved in the politics of the township were right. Since the time of the seminary's expropriation from the land it occupied in Alice, staff and students had multiplied the acts of defiance against the apartheid regime. Yet, with a few exceptions, none of them played an active role in the democratic movement. Clearly, the Imbali residents and their leaders overestimated their influence upon the local youth. Many of them belonged to the very churches that were sending their candidates for the ministry to Fedsem. For them, this institution was nothing other than a terrorist organization. Chief Buthelezi, who had been supportive of the seminary during its early years, refused to discipline his supporters. The Department of Development Aid, under whose jurisdiction Fedsem fell, would have liked to close the seminary, but it never managed to prove that it represented a threat to law and order. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]