Rubin Phillip

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Right Reverend
Rubin Phillip
former bishop of Natal
Province Southern Africa
Diocese Natal
Installed 1999
Term ended 2015
Predecessor Michael Nuttall
Successor Dino Gabriel

Rubin Phillip (b. circa 1948) is bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Natal.[1] The great-grandchild of indentured labourers from Andhra Pradesh, Phillip is the first of East Indian heritage South African to hold the position of Bishop of Natal. He grew up in Clairwood, a suburb of Durban with a large concentration of people of Indian ethnicity, in a non-religious household, but converted to Christianity before being enthroned as bishop in February 2000.[2] He was a noted anti-apartheid activist and spent three years under house arrest in the 1970s.[3] He continues to take political positions and remains connected to grasroots struggles.[4] He was banned in 1973.[5]

Black Consciousness Movement[edit]

Phillip was involved in the Black Consciousness Movement,[5] was a close friend to Steve Biko[6] and was the Deputy President of the South African Student's Organisation in 1969 when Steve Biko was President.[7]


In 2008, Phillip successfully obtained a court order preventing arms shipments destined for Zimbabwe from being transported through South Africa.[8][9] He is chair of the Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum in South Africa.[10]

Abahlali baseMjondolo[edit]

Phillip has been a strong supporter of the shack dwellers movement' Abahlali baseMjondolo.[11] He has attended meetings, memorials, mass ecumenical prayers, marches and UnFreedom Day[12] hosted by Abahlali baseMjondolo and supported the organisation's successful battle to have the KZN Slums Act declared unconstitutional.[13][14] In September 2009, he condemned the violent expulsion of Abahlali baseMjondolo from the Kennedy Road informal settlement blaming political interference and stating that "this militia has acted with the support of the local ANC structures".[15] He supported the movement through the case that followed the attack.[16]

He was critical of the 2010 Football World Cup saying that: "If we can successfully host a massive event like the World Cup, spending billions, then why can't we provide water, electricity and housing for a handful of shack dwellers?"[17]

In 2013 he expressed solidarity with Abahlali baseMjondolo after the movement was subject to assassinations, a police killing, shootings and arrests.[4]

Marikana Massacre[edit]

Phillip was very critical of the police massacre of striking mine workers at Marikana in 2012. At the time he declared that "And so again, the truth of our country is in dead black bodies littering the ground. The truth of our time is that people asserting their rights and dignity have been brought down in a hail of bullets." [18]

Other activism[edit]

He has taken a strong stand against gender based violence.[19]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Bremen International Peace award[edit]

In 2009 Phillip was given the Bremen International Peace award on the grounds of his work in the struggle against apartheid and his ongoing work "to offer solidarity to the displaced people, victims of persecutions and detainees".[10]

Diakonia award[edit]

In August 2010 Phillip was given the Diakonia award in recognition of "his involvement with the anti apartheid movement as far back as the 1960s, through his advocacy and involvement in the Zimbabwe crisis to his solidarity with the shack dwellers movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo." He dedicated the award to "shack dwellers, especially those from Kennedy Road and all those who have stood in solidarity with them."[20][21]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Pomfret, Emma (3 June 2010). "A bishop's pursuit of justice for South Africa's shack dwellers". Christian Today. 
  2. ^ "Man of Indian origin first Anglican Bishop". The Tribune India. Chandigarh, India. 22 February 2000. Retrieved 2015-08-04. 
  3. ^ Diakonia Council of Churches Award Citation for Bishop Rubin Phillip, 2010
  4. ^ a b Christian leaders won’t remain silent for Zuma, by ABONGILE MGAQELWA, The Daily Dispatch, 12 October
  5. ^ a b Bishop Rubin Phillip- a living legend, The Rising Son, 9 May 2017
  6. ^ Biko: A bright guiding light in dark times, Address by the Anglican Bishop of Natal at St Philip’s Anglican Church, Fingo Village in Grahamstown, 19 September 2012, Pambazuka
  7. ^ [_id]=30227 Bishop of Natal honoured in Germany, The Witness, 31 October 2009
  8. ^,1518,548798,00.html
  9. ^ [1] Arms ship heads to Angola, Paul Kirk, The Citizen
  10. ^ a b [2] Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum Congratulates Rubin Phillip
  11. ^ [3] A bishop's pursuit of justice for South Africa's shack dwellers, Emma Pomfret Christian Today
  12. ^ [4] Bishop Rubin Phillip's UnFreedom Day Speech
  13. ^ [5] The Archbishop of Cape Town Speaks Out
  14. ^ [6] Shackdweller Comments Evoke Strong Response, Housing Department
  15. ^ [7] Democracy under attack in Kennedy Road, Pambazuka News
  16. ^ The ANC and the failing of democratic governance, Paul Trewhela, Politics Web, 27 August 2011
  17. ^ Durban gets 2020 thumbs-up, Agiza Hlongwane, Sunday Tribune, 15 August 2010
  18. ^ Marikana mining massacre: three years on, justice still denied, Tom Liebert, New Internationalist, 2015
  19. ^ Teen’s rape, murder widely condemned, 8 February 2013, SAPA
  20. ^ Bishop Rubin Phillip awarded Diakonia Award
  21. ^ To the Laos - To the People of God, September 2010, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, 1 September 2010

External links[edit]

Anglican Church of Southern Africa titles
Preceded by
Michael Nuttall
Bishop of Natal
1999 - 2015
Succeeded by
Dino Gabriel