Information and Speeches


The Russel Botman Memorial Lecture is presented by the Faculty of Theology and the Beyers Naudé Centre for Public Theology at Stellenbosch University and the curatoria of the Dutch Reformed Church and the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa. This lecture is arranged on or close to the birthday of Russel Botman (18 October) at the Faculty of Theology at Stellenbosch University, the first of which took place on the 19th of October 2015.

On the occasion of each memorial lecture the Russel Botman Bursary Fund introduces the recipients and makes an appeal for donations.



Professor DJ Smit spoke on the topic of systematic theology and ecclesiology and had this to say of Russel Botman’s commitment to transformation:

“[He is] making history for the coming generation.”

Prof Mary-Anne Plaatjies-Van Huffel as moderator responded on behalf of the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa.


The second lecture was delivered by Professor Crain Soudien of the Human Sciences Research Council and asked:

 “Are we still of any use?” Situating Russel Botman’s thinking on poverty, empowerment and education in our contemporary times.

Professor Yusef Waghid from the Faculty of Education, Stellenbosch University, responded.


Justice Zak Yacoob delivered the third lecture titled “Religious Philosophy, Practice and the Constitution” to which Professor Sandy Liebenberg of socio-economic rights and administrative justice (SERAJ) and HF Oppenheimer, chair in human rights law, responded.


Dr Marlene le Roux, Chief Executive Officer of ArtsCape Theatre Centre, Cape Town, delivered the fourth lecture reflecting on the arts and its contributions to transforming society. The lecture, From brutalization to hope was delivered in the Adam Small Theatre, to which the Stellenbosch Libertas Choir responded in song.


Reverend Doctor Setri Nyomi, a Ghanain theologian, former General Secretary of the World Communion of Reformed Churches, formerly the World Alliance of Reformed Churches and current senior lecturer at Trinity Theological Seminary, Legon (Ghana) framed the fifth lecture as follows,
Justice for all? The time for change is now!
Professor Ingrid Woolgard, Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences at Stellenbosch University responded.


The 2020 Memorial Lecture was delivered during the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic. The title of Professor David Xolile Simon’s lecture is “Russel Botman engaging religious diversity as social justice: An interfaith Pedagogy of Hope in times of Covid-19 epidemic”. Both he and the respondent, Ashwin Thyssen, PhD candidate, are from Faculty of Theology at Stellenbosch University.