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In its 39 years of existence, the South African Council of Churches has only had two female leaders.
Brigalia Bam and Charity Majiza were pioneers, both within the SACC and in their current fields.
Bam, pictured, was appointed deputy general secretary to Frank Chikane when she returned to South Africa in 1988 after 21 years in exile, and general secretary in 1994.
At the Faith Communities Hearing in 1997, where religious leaders made submissions to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in East London, Bam wittily noted: "We are told that the first human being was in Africa and originated from South Africa.
"It was a black woman that brought the whole of humanity into being."
She moved on to be the first chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission.
Bam is still the head of the IEC after succeeding Judge Johan Kriegler.
After Bam, Charity Majiza became the first ordained woman to be inducted as SACC general secretary in 1997 and held that office until 2000.
Majiza is a leader in the United Congregational Church.