Rev Mcebisi Xundu 2006

Revd Canon Mcebisi Osman Xundu was born at Engcobo in Transkei and went to secondary school in the then famous St John’s College in Mthatha.  It was while he was a student there that politics began to play a role in his life – a role that was to have a very significant influence in his later life.
He trained as an Anglican priest at St Bede’s Theological College in Mthatha when he obtained a diploma in theology to which he added another in Development Studies from The Hague.
Ordained as an Anglican priest in 1960 he worked variously as a priest at the Dioceses of St John’s, Mthatha, Natal and Port Elizabeth where he retired in 2000.
Revd Xundu stands out as a strong believer in the power of the Gospel.  His understanding of the Gospel is that it translates into real, significant action for the betterment of the human lot.  Indeed, he has devoted his entire life in working towards that goal.
Influenced by the Defiance Campaign of 1952 he joined the ANC Youth League.  That marked the beginning of his involvement in politics.  To him faith and politics are inseparable.  As he is wont to say, ‘The greatest revolutionary the Church has ever had is Jesus Christ himself.’  His founding of an organization called Faith in Action has to be seen against his belief that the principles of the Christian faith have to be lived out, regardless of the consequences.
And so it is that he stuck his neck out, got involved in and worked, among others, for the Black Community Programme – an offshoot of the Black Consciousness Movement – with the likes of Steven Biko (an honorary graduate of UPE) -, the United Democratic Front (whose founder member he is) and the Standing for the Truth Campaign.
As a member of the Sanctions Campaign he went to talk to governments in Europe, the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand.  This was all an attempt to practise his Christian faith, to suffer for others and to draw the attention of these governments to human suffering (especially by Blacks) under apartheid.  He was detained for four months in 1985 in Pretoria Central Prison under Section 29 of the Internal Security Act, and in Transkei for three weeks.
In 1986 he moved to the Port Elizabeth Anglican Diocese as Director of Justice and Reconciliation, and also served on the Board of Justice and Reconciliation of the South African Council of Churches.  Elected Canon, and subsequently Archdeacon, in the Diocese of Port Elizabeth he represented the Diocese in various national synods of the Anglican Church.
A founder trustee and Chairperson of the Algoa Bay Charitable Trust, a Trust whose seed funding was donated by the Ford Motor Company as it responded to the sanctions campaign, he has also served as Chairperson and Trustee of the Equal Opportunity Foundation.  This was a foundation formed by Coca Cola Atlanta also in response to the sanctions campaign.
A founder member of Mzingisi Development Trust, a brainchild of Govan Mbeki, who after consultation with Justice Steyn of the IDT was able to release funds for the upgrading of Soweto-on-Sea in Port Elizabeth, Revd Xundu has also served as a committee member of the TRC under Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
A member of All Pay in the Eastern Cape, he is also the Chairperson of Msele Holdings and Nyusani Investment Co.  All these are community-based initiatives aimed at serving and reaching out.
Last, but not least, Revd Xundu has as of 2006 been elected President of the Eastern Cape Council of Churches.  In him we have a dedicated, passionate man of God, a person who takes the suffering of others seriously and is prepared to suffer for them.