Dr Nelis Janse van Rensburg, the moderator of the Dutch Reformed Church, known better as NG Kerk, has given an emotional sermon for Heritage Day at the Moravian Church at Genadendal in the Overberg district of the Western Cape in which he apologised for the church’s role in the apartheid system.
In order to justify segregation in the country and in its own churches, the NG Kerk placed emphasis on questionable and sometimes incorrect interpretations of scriptures, particularly passages in the book of Genesis where God scatters the people of Babel and splits their one language into a diversity of tongues.
Janse van Rensburg says the church repents for not standing up in defiance of the offences of apartheid. He states that the church failed all people of colour.
“I put words to thoughts to the desires of our heart to say that we are sorry. We repent that we provided the theological foundation on which the policies of apartheid were built. We repent that we suggested to the government that they should create a Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act and that we supported the Group Areas Act,” said Janse van Rensburg in his sermon.