12 July 2019,
I write on behalf of the Black Old Boys.
Black Old Boys (BOD’s) started communicating with each other late in 2010 via the advent of Social media, and in 2012 formally joined the OD Union. This was a result of a mutual understanding between the OD Union led by Brian Robertson, John Macey et al and the Black OD’s led by Kennedy Jimba, Kk Mhlauli, Thobile Vumazonke, Bulelani Calana, Arthur Mngxekeza & Moshe Apleni that BOD’s were not as involved as their white counterparts in the affairs of the ODU and Bishops.
Having started this initiative in late 2012, we have managed to collectively address a few challenges and can count a few wins which include:
Access to the Sons of Old Boys Bursary housed in the OD Union, which now also includes several sons of Black OD's, even in the prep school.
Representation of BOD's on key decisive structures in the Bishops/ ODU community
Increased and consistent communication amongst the Black OD community, and the revived connections.
The relaunch of the Hamilton Mvelase Bursary Fund in 2017.
We take note of the efforts of all to address the issues between the OD Union and the WP10. However, we are concerned with the persistence of the current situation and the dangers it poses to the unity and solidarity of the OD Union and the cohesion of its social fabric.
At this juncture, we would like to suggest a different route to the SGM which we feel, however the outcome, will not be beneficial to the Bishops institution and reputation.
The BODs wish to suggest a mediation process where Adam Pike, WP van Zyl and other concerned parties come together and talk. We believe the support of an experienced intermediary who is not party to the conflict, who enjoys the trust of the disputants, and whose goal is to help them, and the Bishops community, to yield a positive outcome. WE suggest that such a process be facilitated by one of the esteemed individuals:
Dr. Mamphela Ramphele
Prof. Pumla Gobodo- Madikizela
Archbishop Thabo Magkoba
Prof. Geoff Everingham
Prof Shirley Zinn
Alexandra Watson The BODs have access to each of these individuals and would be happy to facilitate such a meeting.
Before I end off, I’d like to remind all of us about a particular meeting which took place on the 5th of July 1989. This was the first meeting between Nelson Mandela a prisoner at Victor Vester, and PW Botha, one of the chief architects of apartheid and Mandela’s capture.
Reflecting on the meeting, Mandela writes in his Autobiography Long Walk to Freedom “From the opposite side of his grand office PW Botha walked towards me. He had planned his march perfectly, for we met exactly halfway. He had his hand out and was smiling broadly, and in fact from that very first moment he completely disarmed me. He was unfailingly courteous, deferential and friendly.”
I need not remind us of what this meeting started.
We reiterate that steps need to be taken to address the differences, ease the tension and to start to move towards implementing long-lasting unity.
For Black Old Boys, Bishops represents much more than a position of Secretary or being a member of a committee, Bishops changed our lives and has inspired each of us to have a dream. We hope to be able to call on all OD’s to put Bishops first and talk.
Pro fide et PatriaMoshe Apleni (1997F)
Per mandate – Black Old Diocesans