Bruno Kreisky Foundation

for Human Rights

Christian Frederick Beyers Naude (South Africa)

Christiaan Frederick Beyers Naudé was born in 1915 in Roodepoort, South Africa. He studied theology and became a member of the Broederbond in 1940.

Beyers Naudé experienced the injustice and violence that ruled the country first hand when the police violently broke up a demonstration in 1960. It made him into one of the harshest critics of apartheid and subsequently became known for his attacks on the moral and religious basis of the system. Due to his beliefs he was ostracized by the church and society. From 1977 to 1985 he was banned by the regime. He was the first white person to be banned by the apartheid government.

After the ban was lifted Beyers Naudé served as Secretary General of the South African churches’ council from 1985 to 1987. In 1990 he was present at negotiations with the government. A delegation from the African National Congress met with the former president Frederik Willem de Klerk.

Christiaan Frederick Beyers Naudé passed away in 2004. He significantly contributed to the disbanding of the apartheid system, and the construction of a new democratic system. In his lifetime he received fourteen honorary doctorates and numerous other awards. He received the Bruno Kreisky prize for his commitment to truth, justice and democracy.