Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (1984)) turns 90

This week the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 1984, South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu turned ninety. He was a beacon of hope, humanity and moral decency in South Africa’s apartheid darkest days and even beyond into the new democratic dispensation. …


You make some valid points and in dealing with their past they have set a good example in recent years, but it took a long time. You would no doubt know from your time here that the reality is much more complicated. The German Bishop's Conference is certainly not united on all issues: they are pretty divided on many other issues - how to deal with sexual abuse cases, for example. And there are huge differences between the different Dioceses and some of these conflicts sometimes spill over into the public domain.


How laity and bishops got together to push for reforms

I have been covering the German Catholics for close on 15 years. For years I felt like I have been regurgitating the same story and then at the end of September in what has been a crisis ridden decade, it…


Reflections of a journalist in Berlin

The Angela Merkel era in Germany will end when voters there go to the polls on Sunday September 26. An East German pastor’s daughter, she became Chancellor on November 22, 2005. …


30 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall: how Berlin change impacted on southern Africa

November has been a month of remembering the Fall of the Berlin Wall. I spent much of the autumn in Berlin listening and speaking to eye-witnesses. Here I look back comparing change in my two countries.

At the Brandenburger Gate — celebrating 30 Years Fall of the Wall with messages from all over the world ©Anli Serfontein, 2019

30 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall

I was sleeping in Namibia when the Berlin Wall fell on the night of…


South African investigative journalist, speaker of truth to power

Hennie (JHP) Serfontein is especially remembered for his Broederbond investigative journalism exposés.

Serfontein was also the journalist who broke the news that then political prisoner Nelson Mandela was in secret talks with the apartheid South African Government. A major journalistic scoop…


“It is the most trying Madiba Day since democracy”

South Africa faced its worst post-democracy Mandela Day, since 1994.

On July 18, each year the world remembers Nelson Mandela’s birthday with Madiba Day where his legacy is honored through 67 minutes of volunteering and community service. In South Africa this…


No other date tells the history of twentieth-century Germany as poignantly as November 9. No other date is so laden with the burdens of the history of this country. And no other date symbolizes so strongly irreversible changes about to become reality. On two occasions in 1918 and 1988, they…


30 years after reunification still no unity

Area of Berlin Wall today © Anli Serfontein

THIRTY years after reunification, the old divisions between East and West Germany have not been fully overcome in German Churches or wider society.

For the first time since reunification, in late August, the five church leaders of the East German regional Protestant Churches of the Council of the Evangelical Church…


Sea-Watch 4 set sail in the Mediterranean

The additional refugee sea rescue ship Sea-Watch 4 initiated by the German Protestant churches umbrella body EKD with the “United4Rescue” alliance has set off on its first mission in the Mediterranean after a year of preparations.

Sea-Watch 4 on a test sail off the coast of Spain in July 2020 © United4Rescue, Chris Grodotzki

The ship, financed by donations led by German Protestant churches, left the Spanish port…

Anli Serfontein

South African journalist, author & filmmaker in Berlin. Writing on southern Africa, Germany, politics, culture, films, books, interfaith. www.serfontein.org

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store