Dear friends

Below you will find ‘A call for critical engagement – study document’.  187 people have endorsed this Call since Monday 17 October and we now distribute it as widely as possible. During the process of receiving endorsements technical problems resulted in the loss of certain names. We apologize to those affected and hope that you will resend your name.

This document should not be seen as conclusive but as an invitation to an ongoing conversation.

Since Monday some of the endorsers made critical and important contributions. In addition to what the Call currently articulates, we acknowledge that further attention should be given to the facts that

We also realize that much of what is contained in this Call needs deeper collective reflection and the diverse insights of both those who have endorsed it and many others who did not yet have a chance. Therefore this is an invitation to go on deep journeys together in times to come.

Over the next days we would like to explore possible ways in which engagement can take concrete shape. Any suggestions or thoughts can be emailed to

A Call for Critical Engagement – Study Document

We, a group of concerned theologians, working on South African University campuses that have become militarized by police and private security firms, as well as other concerned theologians, inspired by our heritage of prophetic engagement in public life and deeply concerned with the volatile conflict in our higher education landscape, hereunder articulate a call for critical engagement. It is arising from our on-going engagement with events unfolding on the ground during the current student protests, and being deeply challenged by the call from the #FeesMustFall movement for free, quality and decolonized education, ultimately envisioning a more humane society.

We acknowledge:

We mourn:

We confess:

We affirm:

Instead of condemning students’ reactions as merely emotional reactions of anger and frustration, it is time to listen and engage – we have been deeply moved by the rigorous and reflective way in which students engage each other, debating the issues at hand both rationally and emotionally, constructing visions and strategies together, expressing their deep humanity whilst refusing to be dehumanized or prescribed to by others coming from positions of aloofness and privilege.


Therefore we commit ourselves

 Therefore we plead for the following:

In humility we pose these questions of invitation for on-going dialogue and reflective engagement:


The following people endorsed this document in their individual capacity: 

  1. Mervyn Abrahams, Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action (PACSA)
  2. Melany Adonis, College of Transfiguration Grahamstown
  3. Ghislain Agbede, Francophone University of International Development
  4. Benjamin Aldous, St John’s Wynberg, University of Stellenbosch
  5. Valerie Anderson, The Justice Conference South Africa
  6. Noelene Arends, All Saints Anglican Church
  7. Roger Arendse, Director at EagleCoaching
  8. Edwin Arrison, Kairos Southern Africa
  9. René August,  The Warehouse,  SACLI,  Restitution Foundation
  10. Garth Aziz, University of South Africa
  11. Eugene Baron, University of South Africa
  12. Zuze Banda, University of South Africa
  13. Tracy Bell, Anglican Parish of Prestbury
  14. S'duduzo Blose, Seventh day Adventist Church, University of KwaZulu-Natal
  15. Allan Boesak, Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, Indiana
  16. Annemie Bosch, Dutch Reformed Church
  17. Jaco Botha, Stellenbosch University, Dutch Reformed Church
  18. Nico A Botha, University of South Africa
  19. Nadine Bowers-Du Toit, Stellenbosch University
  20. Nigel Branken, Neighbours, Hillbrow
  21. Sue Brittion, Anglican Diocese of Natal, Parish of Pinetown
  22. Mark Butler
  23. Felipe Gustavo Koch Buttelli, University of KwaZulu-Natal
  24. Ntozakhe Cezula, Stellenbosch University
  25. Juliana Claassens, Stellenbosch University
  26. Stephan de Beer, University of Pretoria
  27. Wilna de Beer, Tshwane Leadership Foundation
  28. John W. de Gruchy, University of Cape Town
  29. Jana de Lange, Dutch Reformed Church Universiteitsoord
  30. Gino De Peers
  31. Rudolph de Villiers, University of Pretoria, Dutch Reformed Church
  32. Fouché de Wet, University of Pretoria, Dutch Reformed Church
  33. Khegan Delport, Stellenbosch University
  34. Philani Dlamini, Methodist Church
  35. Nozipho P. S Dlodlo, University of Kwazulu Natal
  36. Joseph Duggan, Borderless Press and Postcolonial Networks
  37. Wayne Eaves, The Warehouse Trust, University of Pretoria
  38. Helen Efthimiadis-Keith, University of KwaZulu-Natal
  39. Kolade Fadahunsi, Kairos Foundation of Nigeria
  40. Dion Forster, Stellenbosch University
  41. Willem Fourie, University of Pretoria
  42. Maria Frahm-Arp, University of Johannesburg
  43. Laurie Gaum, Centre for Christian Spirituality
  44. Daniela Gennrich, University of KwaZulu-Natal
  45. Allen Goddard, University of KwaZulu-Natal
  46. Martha Gordon, St Michael’s Anglican Church, Bryanston, Johannesburg
  47. Brenda Govender
  48. Lisa Grassow, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Methodist Church
  49. Alphonso Groenewald, University of Pretoria
  50. Sibusiso Gwala, Pirie Mission
  51. Beverley Haddad, University of KwaZulu-Natal
  52. Vernon Hammond, St Mary's Greyville
  53. Deborah Hancox, Stellenbosch University
  54. Elina Hankela, Research Associate, YOMA Research Project
  55. Melissa Hansen, University of the Free State
  56. Richard Holloway, Dutch Reformed Church
  57. Theo Human, Dutch Reformed Church Pinetown
  58. Morgan Jacobs, Seth Mokitimi ‎Methodist Seminary
  59. Johan Janse van Rensburg, Dutch Reformed Church Maclear & Ugie
  60. Kirsten Jeffery, Nazarene Theological College
  61. Nicole Joshua, The Warehouse, University of Pretoria
  62. D. H. Kajom, Kaduna State University, Kaduna, Nigeria
  63. Chammah J Kaunda, University of South Africa
  64. Vicentia Kgabe, College of Transfiguration
  65. Sphiwe Khumalo, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa
  66. Ben Khumalo-Seegelken, Carl von Ossietzky Universität, Oldenburg, Germany
  67. Ubbo Khumalo-Seegelken
  68. Teboho G. Klaas, Robinson Temple AME Church
  69. Mirirayi Knowledge, University of KwaZulu-Natal
  70. Lerato Kobe, University of Pretoria
  71. Brian E. Konkol, Gustavus Adolphus College, Minnesota, USA
  72. JNJ (Klippies) Kritzinger, University of South Africa
  73. Toni Kruger-Ayebazibwe, St Augustine College, Metropolitan Community Churches (correction)
  74. Joel Kuvuna, University of KwaZulu-Natal
  75. Mercio Langa, Anglican Social Action
  76. Clint Le Bruyns, University of KwaZulu-Natal
  77. Maikeleng Ledimo, University of Pretoria
  78. De la Harpe le Roux, Dutch Reformed Church, Bloemfontein
  79. Tshepo Lephakga, University of South Africa
  80. Sidney Luckett, Anglican Church
  81. Joe Lüdemann, St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, ELCSA
  82. Llewellyn LM MacMaster, Stellenbosch University
  83. Paledi P Magopa, Center For Civic and Democracy Education
  84. Sipho Mahokoto, Stellenbosch University
  85. Thabo Makgoba, Anglican Church of Southern Africa
  86. Moganetsi Makulubele, University of Pretoria
  87. Nadia Marais, Stellenbosch University
  88. Francis Marimbe, University of KwaZulu-Natal
  89. Rachel Mash, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Environmental Network
  90. Henry Mbaya, Stellenbosch University
  91. Mike McCoy, Theological Education by Extension College
  92. Duncan McLea - St John’s Parish Wynberg
  93. Siyabonga Mdluli, St Augustine Umlazi
  94. Richard Mee, Muizenberg and Tokai Methodist Church
  95. Dave Meldrum, St Peter’s Church, Mowbray
  96. Wilhelm H. Meyer, University of KwaZulu-Natal
  97. Jacob Meiring, University of Pretoria
  98. Kamogelo Modisane - Lutheran Theological institute
  99. Leepo Modise, University of South Africa
  100. Zack Mokgoebo
  101. Wendy Mollink, St George's Anglican Church Parktown
  102. Marthie Momberg, Stellenbosch University
  103. Lois Moyo, Lutheran Church
  104. Lungile Mpetsheni, Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa, University of Pretoria
  105. Nina Müller van Velden, Stellenbosch University
  106. Seth Naicker, Indiafrique, Bethel Sanctuary
  107. Joey Naika, Seth Mokitimi Methodist Seminary
  108. Thulani Ndlazi, United Congregational Church of Southern Africa, South Africa Synod
  109. Gabriel E. Nduye, University of KwaZulu- Natal
  110. Reggie Nel, University of South Africa
  111. Damazio Ngoma, University of KwaZulu-Natal
  112. Abraham J. Niehaus, University of KwaZulu-Natal
  113. Jana Niehaus, Izwe Lethu, Durban
  114. Elaine Nogueira-Godsey, University of Johannesburg
  115. Dikgang Kgosi Moseneke Jr. - Seth Mokitimi Methodist Seminary
  116. Ntuthuko Nkosi - Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa
  117. Lillian Notayi, Stellenbosch University
  118. Ezekiel Ntakirutimana, University of Pretoria
  119. Jacob Nthakhe, University of South Africa
  120. Siyabonga Ntombela, Methodist Church of Southern Africa, University of Kwa-Zulu Natal
  121. Selina Palm, Rondebosch United Church
  122. Cheryl Pearce
  123. Trevor Pearce, Anglican Church, Growing the Church
  124. Walter Philander, Stellenbosch University, URCSA
  125. Graham Philpott, Church Land Programme
  126. Rubin Phillip, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Diocese of Natal
  127. Stephen Phiri, University of KwaZulu-Natal
  128. Miranda Pillay, University of the Western Cape
  129. Sakkie Potgieter, Uniting Reformed Church Carnarvon
  130. Caroline Powell, The Warehouse Trust & University of Pretoria
  131. Tristan Pringle, University of Pretoria
  132. Jane Quin, University of KwaZulu- Natal

  133. Duduzile Radebe, Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action

  134. Wayne Renkin, University of Pretoria
  135. Michael Ribbens, Institute for Urban Ministry
  136. Ryan Saville, Jubilee Community Church
  137. J.D.F. (Deon) Scharneck, URCSA Beaufort West-East
  138. Wesley Seale, Rhodes University
  139. Heidi Segal
  140. Earl September
  141. Laura Singh,  University of Pretoria
  142. Mathews GJ. Shabele, Lutheran Theological Institute
  143. Michelle Shrader Central Methodist Mission, Cape Town
  144. Xolile Simon, University of Stellenbosch
  145. Johannes A. Smit, University of KwaZulu-Natal
  146. Tom Smith, Rhythm of Life
  147. Gerrie Snyman, University of South Africa
  148. Rob Stegmann, Stellenbosch University
  149. Craig Stewart, The Warehouse
  150. Alan Storey - Central Methodist Mission - Cape Town
  151. Gavin Taylor – Methodist Church
  152. NK Tenai, North-West University
  153. Christo Thesnaar, Stellenbosch University
  154. Janet Trisk, St Alphege's Anglican Church
  155. Rothney Tshaka, University of South Africa
  156. Sandeep Theophil, University of KwaZulu-Natal
  157. Christi Thirion, Dutch Reformed Church Kendridge
  158. Luthando Tofu, Christ Legacy Centre, University of Pretoria
  159. Loraine Tulleken
  160. Calvin Ullrich, Stellenbosch University
  161. Jakub Urbaniak, University of the Free State, St Augustine College
  162. EAJG van der Borght, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  163. Carusta van der Merwe
  164. Johan A. van der Merwe, Dutch Reformed Church George
  165. Stiaan Van Der Merwe
  166. Louis van der Riet, Stellenbosch University
  167. Hendrien van Vliet, Dutch Reformed Church Pretoria
  168. Michael Van Niekerk, University of South Africa
  169. Cobus van Wyngaard, University of South Africa, Dutch Reformed Church Pretoria
  170. Ashley Visagie, Bottomup Social Development, Invia Gemeente
  171. Johannes N. Vorster, University of South Africa
  172. Robert Vosloo, Stellenbosch University
  173. Nastasia Vosloo, University of Pretoria
  174. Vuyani Vellem, University of Pretoria
  175. Paul Verryn, Methodist Church
  176. Mike Vorster, Methodist Church of Southern Africa, Natal Coastal District
  177. RS Wafula, Borderless Press and Postcolonial Networks
  178. Andrew Warmback, St Pauls Anglican Church, Durban
  179. Shantelle Weber, Stellenbosch University
  180. Michael Weeder, St George's Anglican Cathedral, Cape Town
  181. David West,
  182. Gerald West, University of KwaZulu-Natal
  183. Jeremy G. Wyngaard, Stellenbosch University
  184. Sandisele L Xhinti, Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa, University of Pretoria
  185. Londiwe Xulu, Methodist Church of Southern Africa
  186. Gosnell L. Yorke, University of South Africa
  187. Goodwin L D Zainga, Churches of Christ in Malawi
  188. Skhumbuzo Zuma, Church Land Programme