Who exactly is Bishop Mvume Dandala?

The Man

The Man

Mvume Dandala was born in October 1951 at Mount Ayliff in the Eastern Cape.

He trained for the ministry at the Federal Theological Seminary in Alice, Eastern Cape, and also at Cambridge University, United Kingdom, where he gained a BA and an MA specialising in theology.

He has served religious communities in Empangeni, Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg.

In 1999 he was appointed prior of the Order of St John's in South Africa.

He has been married to Phumzile Dandala for 35 years. He is father to television personality Hlomla Dandala and banker Thobeka Dandala.

The Minister

Like father like son, the reverend took after his dad, Killion Dandala, who was also a Methodist minister.

He has served as Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa between 1998 and 2003. He has also served as President of the SA Council of Churches, and later became the founding chairman of the Johannesburg Housing Company.

In 2003 he was general secretary of the All Africa Conference of Churches in Kenya.

He led the wedding ceremony of then president Nelson Mandela and Graca Machel in 1998 as Mandela was brought up as a Methodist.

The Peacemaker

During the heyday of the apartheid era, Dandala worked as a conflict resolution figure.

In 2002, he received the National Order of the Baobab, silver category, for his role and involvement in the struggle against apartheid in the lead up to democracy in South Africa.

Dandala was also involved in peace talks in Kenya in early 2008, following that country's post-election violence.

Dandala said in Kenya a year ago: "To allow democracy to collapse in Kenya would be to allow it to collapse around the continent".

Sources: Reuters/Tiso Group/whoswho/sa