About this site

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Heyns, Johan

Click here for list of interviews

Heyns was born in 1928 in the Orange Free State.

He was educated at Potchefstroom and Amsterdam, with a speciality in ethics and dogmatics. He was ordained in 1954 and held various positions in the church before becoming moderator in 1986. Heyns led the move of the NGK to move away from its past and to become more non-racial.

Heyns was a member of the Broederbond, a prominent figure in Afrikaner cultural groups and the Dean of Pretoria University's theological faculty.

Before the 1994 democratic election Heyns acted as a facilitator in moves to bring together the Church and political parties to reach consensus on moral and other issues.

He was shot dead in his home, by persons unknown, in November 1994.

Sources: Joyce, P. (1999). A Concise Dictionary of South African Biography, Cape Town: Francolin. Mail & Guardian A-Z of SA Politics: 1994.

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.