South Africa: Overcoming Apartheid

Frank Chikane

(March 1, 1951 - )

Frank Chikane became politically aware while he was a student. He was very influenced by the Black Consciousness Movement and its ideologies. While studying he was often arrested and held in detention. In 1979 Chikane completed his training as a pastor in the Apostolic Faith Mission, but he was later defrocked due to his political ideas and involvement. After the end of apartheid he was re-instated in the church, and now heads the black section of the church.

In the 1980s Chikane became very involved with the United Democratic Front (UDF). From here he became involved with the South African Council of Churches (SACC), which he was elected General Secretary of in 1987.

In the 1990s Chikane remained involved with the SACC, and had the task of carrying the organisation through the period of change. He attempted to draw the more conservative churches back in the SACC, and directed the church through the 1994 election. He focused on changing the image on the SACC from a political movement to one that can play a role in mediation.

In 1994 Chikane began work as the Director General in the office of the Deputy President, and remained there until June 1999. In December 1997 he was elected to the NEC of the African National Congress (ANC), a position that he still holds today. Chikane is at present the Director General in the office of the President, a position he took in June 1999.

This biography is from South African History Online. Used by permission. 
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