Have You Heard From Johannesburg - Seven Stories of the GLOBAL anti-apartheid movement

Allan Boesak  23 February 1945 -

Reverend Allan Boesak was born at Kakamas, Northern Cape, as one of eight children. He was raised in Somerset West and as a child worked as a labourer to help support his family. At fourteen, he became a sexton in the separate Coloured sector of the local Nederduitse Gereformeerde Sending-Kerk.

After graduating from Bellville Theological Seminary, he worked as a pastor in Paarl between 1967 and 1970. In the early 1970s, he studied at theological institutions in Kampen, Holland, and New York, gaining a PhD in 1975. On his return to South Africa in 1976, his parish was in Cape Town's Bellville South. Boesak was elected as president of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches in 1982, a position he held until 1991.

He rose to prominence during the 1980s as an outspoken critic and opponent of the National Party's policies and played a major anti-apartheid activist role as a patron of the United Democratic Front (UDF) from 1983 to 1991. In 1991, Boesak was elected chairman of the Western Cape region of the African National Congress (ANC). In 2008, while serving as the Moderator of the Cape Synod of the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa, Boesak announced that he would resign all of his positions within the church because of the church's discriminatory position on homosexuality. In December 2008 he left the ANC to join the Congress of the People (COPE).