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Dr. Alexander Lionel Boraine (10 January 1931 – 5 December 2018)[1] was a South African politician and minister of religion.

Alex Boraine
Born(1931-01-10)10 January 1931
Cape Town, South Africa
Died (aged 87)
Cape Town, South Africa
Alma materRhodes University
University of Oxford
Drew University


Alex Boraine was born in Cape Town. Having been ordained as a Methodist minister in 1956, he studied at Rhodes University in South Africa, Oxford University in England, and Drew University in the United States.[2] In 1970, he was appointed youngest-ever President of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, a position he held until 1972.[3] He was elected to parliament as an MP for the Progressive Party in 1974. He resigned in 1986 and, together with Frederik van Zyl Slabbert, founded IDASA, which organized the 1987 Dakar Conference with ANC leaders in Dakar, Senegal.[4] From 1986 to 1995, Boraine headed two South African nonprofit organizations concerned with ending apartheid and addressing the legacy it left behind.[5]

Boraine was one of the main architects of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In 1995, he was appointed by President Nelson Mandela to be its deputy chair serving under Chairman Archbishop Desmond Tutu from 1996 to 1998. From 1998 until early 2001, he served as professor of law at New York University and as director of the New York University Law School's Justice in Transition program. In 2001 Boraine co-founded the International Center for Transitional Justice, an international human rights NGO. He served as ICTJ’s president for three years, and subsequently, the chairperson of ICTJ’s South Africa office. Alex Boraine travelled to many countries that were in transition from dictatorship to democracy, at the invitation of governments and NGOs, to share the South African experience. Boraine was a member of Advisory Board of Directors and a Global Visiting Professor of Law at the NYU School of Law's Hauser Global Law School Program.[5] He published five books,[5] including A Country Unmasked, published by Oxford University Press in November 2000, and A Life in Transition, published by Struik Publishers in June 2008.

Boraine was awarded the Order of the Baobab in 2014.[5]

He died on 5 December 2018 in Constantia, Cape Town, at the age of 87.[6]


  1. ^ "Anti-apartheid activist Alex Boraine passes away". BizNews. 5 December 2018. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  2. ^ "1999 Dedication - Alexander Boraine & Desmond Tutu", NYU Law
  3. ^ "Desmond Tutu mourns passing of TRC co-founder Alex Boraine". Independent Online. 6 December 2018. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  4. ^ "About Alex Boriane" Archived 2012-03-16 at the Wayback Machine., Random House Struik
  5. ^ a b c d "Alex Boriane", International Center for Transitional Justice
  6. ^ Former TRC vice-chairperson Alex Boraine dies at 87

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