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Thabo Makgoba

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Thabo Makgoba

The Most Reverend
Thabo Makgoba
Archbishop of Cape Town, Primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa
Makgoba at the 2012 World Economic Forum on Africa
Church Anglican
See Cape Town
In office 2007 – present
Predecessor Njongonkulu Ndungane
Successor incumbent
Ordination 1990
Consecration 2002
Personal details
Born 1960
Previous post Bishop of Grahamstown

Thabo Cecil Makgoba (born 15 December 1960[1]) is the South African Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town. He had served in the past as Bishop of Grahamstown. In 2008 he was awarded the Cross of St Augustine, the second highest international award for outstanding service to the Anglican Communion, by the Archbishop of Canterbury.[2]


He graduated from Orlando High, Soweto, and took a BSc at Wits before going to St Paul's College, Grahamstown to study for the Anglican ministry. He married the daughter of Cecil Manona, Lungelwa Manona. Since then he has obtained a Masters in Educational Psychology at Wits, where he also lectured part-time from 1993 to 1996.[1] He was made Bishop of Queenstown (Suffragan Bishop of Grahamstown) on 25 May 2002, and became Bishop of Grahamstown in 2004. Until he moved to the Diocese of Grahamstown as Bishop Suffragan, Makgoba's ministry had been spent in the Diocese of Johannesburg, first as a curate at the Cathedral, and then as Wits chaplain. After that he was put in charge of St Alban's Church and later of Christ the King, Sophiatown. He became Archdeacon of Sophiatown in 1999. He became Archbishop of Cape Town on 31 December 2007, the youngest person ever to be elected to this position.[3] He is a Procter Fellow (2008) from Episcopal Divinity School in the United States.

He holds two honorary Doctorates in Divinity from the General Theological Seminary, 2009 and from Huron University College, 2013.[3] He is currently the Chancellor of the University of the Western Cape.(2012)

He also graduated with a PhD from the University of Cape Town in December 2009. {Thesis on:Workplace Spirituality}. He was awarded the Ernest Oppenheimer Memorial Trust Scholarship to study for his PhD.


He believes that ‘We must each ask, "Who is my neighbour?" and then treat every individual and our whole global community in ways that uphold the sanctity of life, the dignity of humanity in all our differences, and the integrity of creation. These are our touchstones as we follow God’s call for social justice here and now.’[4]

Makgoba subscribes to the orthodox Anglican stance on homosexuality, but admits that he is open to discussions on the matter. The Anglican Diocese of Cape Town, after a Synod held in Cape Town, on 20–22 August 2009, passed a resolution calling the Anglican Church in Southern Africa bishops to give pastoral guidelines for homosexual couples living in "covenanted partnerships". At the same time, it was approved an amendment for the resolution which provided that the guidelines "due regard of the mind of the Anglican Communion." Makgoba stated that the resolution was "an important first step to saying: 'Lord, how do we do ministry in this context?' I'm a developmental person. I don't believe in big bangs. If you throw a little pebble into water, it sends out concentric circles and hopefully that way change comes from that." He also said that "South Africa has laws that approve a civil union in this context, but not in the other countries within our province. In central Africa and north Africa, both the Anglican Church and the state say 'no'" and "The reason for this resolution was because we have these parishioners, and the law provides for them to be in that state, so how do we pastorally respond to that?"[5]

Political statements

Like his predecessors, he has used his position to make political statements about current affairs. In October 2009, he supported Bishop Rubin Phillip's condemnation of the violence at Kennedy Road informal settlement in which a local militia "acted with the support of the local ANC structures".[6]

External links

  • View his blog at


  1. ^ a b "CAPE TOWN, Archbishop of," in Who's Who 2009 (London: A & C Black, 2008); online ed., (Oxford: OUP, 2008), (accessed 4 January 2009)
  2. ^ See Lambeth citation list here.
  3. ^ a b Honorary Degree List at GTS May 2009
  4. ^ Posting by Thabo Makgoba 22-May-2009
  5. ^ SOUTHERN AFRICA: Anglican Province Moves to Support Homosexual Couples, 27 August 2009
  6. ^ The Archbishop of Cape Town Speaks Out Retrieved 01-Oct-2009. Archived from the original on 20 April 2014.
Anglican Church of Southern Africa titles
Preceded by
David Patrick Hamilton Russell
Bishop of Grahamstown
Succeeded by
Ebenezer St Mark Ntlali
Preceded by
Njongonkulu Ndungane
Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town
2007 -
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