SOUTH AFRICA: Archbishop Ndungane confirms retirement date

October 31, 2006

In May this year Anglican Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane of Cape Town announced that he would retire in 2008. He has now confirmed that he will step down on January 31 of that year.

"I have determined an Elective Assembly to choose my successor will take place in September 2007. I will preside over the Synod of Bishops and the Provincial Standing Committee meetings, which precede the Elective Assembly, and thereafter go on sabbatical until the official date of my retirement," said Ndungane. "I have consulted with the Bishops of the Anglican Church in Southern Africa and with the senior clergy of the Diocese of Cape Town. Today I will be sending letters to the Diocese as a whole.

"It has been a great privilege and distinctive joy to head this great church," Ndungane added.

After his retirement, Ndungane still intends to be engaged in the development agenda in Africa through the organization African Monitor which he launched earlier this year.

He has also been invited to champion the initiative to restore historic church schools. These schools were originally incubators of the African intelligentsia in South Africa, but were closed down during the apartheid regime. At present they are in a state of disrepair but the intention is to restore them as centers of cultural and educational excellence.

News of a possible successor will only come to light when the mandate for an Elective Assembly has been issued by the dean of the Province, Bishop David Beetge, towards the end of May 2007.