The Lutheran churches' response to the forced removals in the western Transvaal and Bophuthatswana (1968-1984)
Ntsimane, Radikobo Phillip.
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This thesis is about the Lutheran Churches' response to the forced removals which took place between 1968 and 1984 in Western Transvaal. Bills aimed at expropriating land from African people were passed through parliament from 1913 to 1984. These apartheid laws culminated in the fonnation of Bantustans where people of different nationalities among blacks were moved to. Among the Tswanas four villages in the Western Transvaal viz. Matlwang, Ga-Maloka, Botshabelo and Mogopa were moved between 1968 and 1984. The Lutheran Churches which were working in the four villages did not do much to help their members in time great need and distress. The villagers interviewed unanymously agreed that the Lutheran churches were silent during the time of the forced removals. The Lutheran churches in the world have a history of silence with regard to governments' unjust policies towards the people. Theologians and church leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa (ELCSA) and its supporting mission society, the Rermannsburg Mission Society (HMS), the Lutheran Church in Southern Africa (LCSA) and its supporting mission society, the Lutheran Church Mission, agree that the doctrine of the Two Kingdoms was not responsible for the silence of the Lutheran Churches in South Africa. The Lutheran Churches have an opportunity to make up for their past mistakes by initiating and joining existing projects aimed at helping the marginalised communities of South Africa. Among other pressing needs in South Africa besides the preaching of the gospel one can count landlessness, unemployment, homelessness, poverty, hunger, diseases like HIV/AIDS, and counselling of the abused individuals in both in the urban and the rural areas to which those who were forcefully removed are returning. This work is presented to churches in general and to the Lutheran Churches in particular so that they can preach the gospel of Jesus Christ in a wholistic rather than a narrow way. Jesus was concerned about the poor, the captives, the blind, the sinners, the rulers and the oppressed.