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Rev Charles Hooper (Posthumous)

The Order of Luthuli in

Rev Charles Hooper (Posthumous) Awarded for:
His bravery and contribution to the struggle for democracy when the apartheid regime was at its most brutal. He left everything and fled to a far-away land to fight the racist system.
Profile of Rev Charles Hooper

Rev Charles Hooper graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand. He heeded the call to become an Anglican Priest. In the years around 1957, he served the community of Lehurutshe in present-day North West, which he supported materially, spiritually and legally.

He further supported the uprising that sought to oppose the unjust subjugation of the community of Lehurutshe. He was present during the unjust deposition of Kgosi Abraham Moiloa, fully supporting the community. Hooper was subjected to threats on his life by the authorities who sought to impose the pass laws on the women of Gopane and other villages in the area.

Hooper and his wife Sheila were subsequently banned and found refuge in Swaziland. It is on record that as the resident priest and teacher at St Michaels Anglican School in Manzini, he gave refuge and safe passage to comrades evading the unjust apartheid regime, including Arthur Goldreich and Harold Wolpe.

He showed bravery and contributed to the struggle for democracy when the apartheid regime was most brutal. He gave refuge to those seeking shelter at Lehurutshe and in Swaziland, doing this with humility without demanding recognition for a just fight. He inspired many at the St Michaels Anglican School to lead, be courageous and pursue justice.

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and others who sacrificed much to go into exile are some of the mentees of Hooper. Similarly, he supported the safe movement of people from Zeerust to Botswana. The Lehurutshe Uprising is documented in the classic book, Brief Authority. He also published a manuscript, The Red Car.