Thabo Makgoba

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Thabo Makgoba

Archbishop of Cape Town, Primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa
Makgoba at the 2012 World Economic Forum on Africa
SeeCape Town
Installed31 December 2007
PredecessorNjongonkulu Ndungane
Personal details
Born (1960-12-15) 15 December 1960 (age 62)
Alexandra, Johannesburg
Previous post(s)Bishop of Grahamstown

Thabo Cecil Makgoba KStJ (born 15 December 1960[1] in Alexandra, Johannesburg) is the South African Anglican archbishop of Cape Town. He had served before as bishop of Grahamstown.


Makgoba graduated from Orlando High, Soweto, and completed his BSc degree at Wits University before going to St Paul's College, Grahamstown to study for the Anglican ministry. He married Lungelwa Manona. Since then he obtained an MEd degree in Educational Psychology at Wits, where he also lectured part-time from 1993 to 1996.[1] He was made bishop of Queenstown (a suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Grahamstown) on 25 May 2002 and became the diocesan bishop of Grahamstown (in Makhanda) 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 St Mary's Cathedral, Johannesburg and then as the Anglican chaplain at Wits University. After that he was made rector of St Alban's Church, Ferrairasdorp, Johannesburg[a] and later of Christ the King, Sophiatown.[b] 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.[2] He was a Procter Fellow of the Episcopal Divinity School in the United States in 2008.

As of 2012, Makgoba is currently the chancellor of the University of the Western Cape.[3]

Makgoba graduated with a PhD degree from the University of Cape Town in December 2009.[4] He was awarded the Ernest Oppenheimer Memorial Trust Scholarship to study for his doctorate. He is also an adjunct professor at the Allan Gray School for Values at UCT.


Makgoba 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.'[5]

Makgoba is open to discussions on the orthodox Anglican stance on homosexuality. 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?"[6]

In 2016 Makgoba stated he was "pained" after a church synod rejected a proposal to allow bishops to license gay and lesbian clergy who are in same sex civil marriages to minister in parishes and rejected a motion to provide for prayers of blessing to be offered for those in same sex civil marriages. After the synod, which covered churches from Angola, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, St Helena, and Swaziland, Makgoba advised "our lesbian sisters and gay brothers: I was deeply pained by the outcome of the debate".[7]

Political statements[edit]

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".[8]



  • Faith and Courage- Praying with Nelson Mandela (2018);
  • Workplace Spirituality (2012?);
  • Connectedness(2005) and
  • a number of journal articles[citation needed]


  1. ^ St Alban's Church, Ferrairasdorp 26°12′33″S 28°02′06″E / 26.209157°S 28.034893°E / -26.209157; 28.034893 (St Alban's Church, Ferrairasdorp)
  2. ^ Christ the King, Sophiatown 26°10′25″S 27°58′38″E / 26.173702°S 27.977169°E / -26.173702; 27.977169 (Christ the King, Sophiatown)
  1. ^ a b "Makgoba, Thabo". Who's Who. A & C Black. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ a b Honorary Degree List at GTS May 2009
  3. ^ Martin, Martin. "Essence of morality in academia". IOL. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  4. ^ Makgoba, Thabo (2009). African workplace spirituality in South African mines (PhD). University of the Cape Town. hdl:11427/8960.
  5. ^ Posting by Thabo Makgoba 22-May-2009
  6. ^ Virtue, David W. (27 August 2009). "SOUTHERN AFRICA: Anglican Province Moves to Support Homosexual Couples". VirtueOnline. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  7. ^ "Makgoba 'pained' over Anglican same-sex debate outcome". News24. 1 October 2016. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  8. ^ The Archbishop of Cape Town Speaks Out Retrieved 01-Oct-2009. Archived from the original on 20 April 2014.
  9. ^ See Lambeth citation list here.
  10. ^ "The Order of St John for the Faith and in the Service of Humanity". The London Gazette. No. 62228. 14 March 2018. p. 4730.

External links[edit]

Anglican Church of Southern Africa titles
Preceded by Bishop of Grahamstown
Succeeded by
Preceded by Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town
2007 -