Reverend Allan Boesak and Beyers Naude fought tenaciously to end apartheid in South Africa. In 1981, Boesak was elected chairman of the Alliance of Black Reformed Christians in Southern Africa. During the 1982 World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) meeting in Canada, Boesak introduced a motion requesting that WARC declare apartheid heresy. The Alliance adopted his Declaration on Racism and unanimously elected Boesak as its new president, a position he held until 1989.
In January 1983, through Boesak’s call for a united front against apartheid, the United Democratic Font (UDF) was formed, ultimately becoming the main anti-apartheid group in South Africa. In 1985, he organized a march on Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town to demand the release of Nelson Mandela; for this, Boesak was detained and interrogated.
Despite continued legal persecution and excommunication from their communities and churches, Boesak and Beyers continued their activism until the fall of apartheid and the introduction of democracy in South Africa in 1994