Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has launched an initiative to digitise the history of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa – dating back to 1680.

Makgoba says some of the digital archives will include what he calls – the ‘angry letters’ of Desmond Tutu to PW Botha’ and Njongonkulu Ndungane to Nelson Mandela.

Makgoba was speaking at an online service of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa’s Provincial Standing Committee.


He says the service and the launch of the digital archives form part of the church’s commemoration of its 150th anniversary.

“In order to help us know where we come from, I am launching today – as a 150th anniversary project – an initiative to digitise our rich paper archives. They reflect our history ranging from parish baptism registers, from St Helena dating back to 1680, to Charles Johnson’s letterbooks from Zululand, to the angry letters of Desmond Tutu to PW Botha in the 1980s,” says Makgoba.

“Also the clash that Archbishop Njongo had with former President Nelson Mandela in the late 1990s. This rich history tells me that in spite of the present uncertainties, in spite of the climate threat, of corruption, of bad governance, in spite of pandemics, God is here, incarnate among us and on our side,” he explains.