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Die reis met kerkeenwording tussen die Verenigende Gereformerde Kerk in Suider-Afrika en die Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk in Afrika

Plaatjies van Huffel, Mary Anne ; Van der Merwe, Johan M. (2012-12-04)

CITATION: Plaatjies van Huffel, M. A. & Van der Merwe, J. M. 2012. Die reis met kerkeenwording tussen die Verenigende Gereformerde Kerk in Suider-Afrika en die Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk in Afrika. Verbum et Ecclesia, 33(1), Art. #724, doi:10.4102/ve.v33i1.724.

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Die artikel gee ’n historiese oorsig oor die kerkregtelike stryd tussen die Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk in Afrika (NGKA) en die Verenigende Gereformeerde Kerk in Suider-Afrika (VGKSA) vanaf 1966. Op 14 April 1994 het die Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk (NGSK) en die NGKA verenig en het die VGKSA tot stand gekom (Acta VGKSA Algemene Sinode 1994:282). Op hierdie datum het die NGSK en die NGKA juridies ontbind en is die twee kerke tot ’n nuwe organisasie met volle regspersoonlikheid verenig (Skema VGKSA Algemene Sinode 1994:39). Hierdie eenwording het tot ’n kerkskeuring en etlike hofsake, wat in die guns van die NGKA beslis was, gelei. Die artikel poog om aan te dui hoe die kerk soortgelyke probleme op die weg na eenwording in die toekoms kan vermy, deur onder andere op die uitspraak, asook op die regsaspekte wat daaruit afgelei kan word, ag te slaan.

The article gives a historical overview of judicial problems that the Dutch Reformed Church (DRMC) and the Dutch Reformed Church in Africa (DRCA) encountered in their journey to church unification. On 14 April 1994 the DRMC and the DRCA merged and the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa (URCSA) came into being. Firstly, attention is given to a historical overview of the unification process. Secondly, the resolutions of the General Synod of the DRCA (1991), the judicial problems that surfaced shortly after the unification between the DRMC and the DRCA, the objections against the unification process and the lawsuit that followed, will be attended to. The unification between the DRMC and the DRCA was tested in court and in 1998 the Supreme Court gave judgment in favor of the DRCA. The verdict indicated that all decisions with regards to church property were ultra vires and that the DRCA as a legal corporate entity remains. The article concludes with a few legal aspects that may be derived from the judgement. The verdict highlights the administration of justice according to established rules and principles, namely that a juristic person cannot be deprived of life, liberty or property without appropriate legal procedures and safeguards. The article proposes that Reformed churches in the South African context should seriously take cognisance of the judgement. This article attempts to identify the important criteria for and characteristics of administration of justice with regard to church unification.

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