Nico Smith

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Nico Smith (1929 – June 19, 2010) was a South African Afrikaner minister and prominent opponent of apartheid. Smith was a professor of theology at the University of Stellenbosch, a member of the Afrikaner Broederbond (Afrikaner Brotherhood) organization, and a minister of the apartheid-supporting Dutch Reformed Church (DRC). However, he abandoned his upper-class lifestyle to live with the impoverished and segregated blacks of Mamelodi, a suburb of Pretoria. From Mamelodi, he worked to support the black community and oppose apartheid. Smith joined the Dutch Reformed Church in Africa (DRCA), the separate branch of the Dutch Reformed Church for non-whites, due to the DRC's refusal to oppose apartheid.

Early life and professional career

Smith grew up in the rural reaches of the Orange Free State, and was raised by his father with conventional Afrikaner views on the inferiority of coloureds and blacks at the time. He "took to the streets" to celebrate the 1948 election in which the pro-apartheid National Party won the most seats (despite losing the popular vote). Smith spent seven years at the University of Pretoria where he earned his theology degree. He was ordained a minister of the apartheid-supporting Dutch Reformed Church. Smith spent a 7-year period doing missionary work in the black...
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