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Methodius Hayes [userpic]

Vlok's repentance

Adriaan Vlok, the former regime's police minister, went to church in Soweto on Sunday and heard that his recent apology was "a miracle" that has had a global impact.

As part of the apology Vlok recently washed the feet of Reverend Frank Chikane, now director-general in the Presidency, in his office in the Union Buildings.

As an ordained minister Chikane has preached at the small church in Naledi, Soweto, for 16 years. On Sunday his congregation had a most unusual guest -- the former law and order minister. Speaking at the church Vlok, described by some as "one of the most evil men that apartheid created", called the congregation his brothers and sisters.

Vlok's wife had committed suicide in 1994, and he said it had taken him 12 years to come to this point. "I had to rid myself of my own pride, my egotism and selfishness," he said.

Vlok sat in the front row of the packed church next to Chikane's wife. At one point he stood and calpped along in a gospel song. He also joked when being introduded and said, "You can't give a microphone to an old politician and expect him to speak for one minute. It's not possible."

Chikane maintained that the apology was sincere and said that more were likely to follow.

Chikane is a minister in the Apostolic Faith Mission, one of the oldest Pentecostal denominations in South Africa. During the apartheid era he was secretary-general of the South African Council of Churches, and the Security Police (who were under Vlok) had tried to poison him by putting poison in his clothes.

Some were sceptical about Vlok's , and said that if he were truly repentant he would reveal who had committed human rights abuses under apartheid.

(from newspaper reports and other sources)