A different form of protest: the life of Bishop Alphaeus Zulu, 1905 – 1960.

Ian Macqueen


In his lifetime Bishop Alphaeus Zulu visited eleven countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Australia. He was awarded three honorary doctorates and had been nominated for election as Archbishop of Cape Town. Elected in 1960 as suffragan Bishop of St. John’s, Transkei, Alphaeus Zulu was the first African Bishop of the (Anglican) Church of the Province of South Africa (CPSA). Alphaeus Zulu was notable by birth too, as a member of the Zulu royal house who regarded Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi as family. His involvement with Buthelezi extended beyond family commitments to his active involvement in the Zulu cultural movement Inkatha Yenkululeko Yesizwe. Buthelezi had been prepared for confirmation by Alphaeus Zulu and attributed the reemergence of Inkatha to the encouragement of Alphaeus Zulu and Kenneth Kaunda.2 Alphaeus Zulu was a member of Inkatha’s central committee from its inception, serving as its first National Chairman. After his retirement as Bishop of Zululand in 1978, he served as Speaker of the KwaZulu Legislative Assembly.

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