Martin Plaut

When I was growing up one of my parent’s closest friends was ‘Aunty Aggie’. She was a delightful, endlessly cheerful, woman, whose real name was Agnes Cornelia Victoria Jasmine Kronenberg.

When Aunty Aggie came to visit she would always play with my brother, sister and I and it was always a treat. Quite how my parents knew her is unclear to me and she was one of only a handful of ‘coloured’ friends whom they had. So our lunches were in some ways a challenge to the racism and apartheid that was all around us.

Aunty Aggie was a member of the Moravian church, with strong links to the mission stations that they ran in the remote villages like Genadendal. And it was here that she died on 20 August 1993.

Dr Abdullah Abdurahman

Aunty Aggie’s smiles and her optimism were always an inspiration to me, and when I wrote Dr Abdurahman’s biography I contacted her nearest relative, the Rev. Joy-Faith Kronenberg, to ask her whether I might dedicate the book to her. The Rev Joy-Faith consulted the family and they most kindly agreed.

When it was finally published last year, I thought I should do something to help return the favour. I sent 25 copies to Rev. Joy-Faith to be distributed among the Moravian schools. This she kindly did, although I think it has been a huge task since she is very busy with her community, for which I am immensely grateful.

Here are the pictures Rev. Joy-Faith sent me, explaining how they have been received.

“Dear Martin. Hope all is well with you. I have handed over many of the books to school around CT. The rest will be sent to Overberg and Cedarberg and Eastern Cape regions.

The hostel at Genadendal is called Hester Dorothea, named after our grandmother who according to the local people, was very well loved for her compassionate nature always handing out clothing and food to the destitute and marginalised.

I have sent a book to the L.R. Schmidt Moravian Primary school in Genadendal where aunty Aggie did her Primary school education. It is also the oldest school in South Africa.”

Bishop Brian Abrahams on the left and Rev Godfrey Cunningham, president of the Moravian Church in South Afroca. Bishop hails from Genadendal where Aunty Aggie and her siblings were born, during the ministry of her parents Rev & Ms David Samuel & Hester Dorothea Kronenberg.

Bishop Augustine Joemath, one of our bishops in the Moravian church. He is indeed very grateful and will contact you once he’s finished reading.

The new minister of Pella Moravian Church Rev Hans, successor to Rev. Joy-Faith. Rev Joy-Faith writes: “Pella Moravian Primary School where me and my siblings and my mom and her siblings did our primary education… Pella place of refuge is a place close to my heart.”

Rev Joy-Faith writes: “Pella Moravian Primary School where me and my siblings and my mom and her siblings did our primary education… Pella place of refuge is a place close to my heart.”

Zethu Xapile on the far left she is the Primary Health Care manager for Klipfontein Mitchell’s Plain sub structure (KMPSS). Next to her is Rev, Joy-Faith Kronenberg and then in uniform is Ms Florence Burger. She is the facility manager for Dr Abdurahman day hospital and next to her is Patti Olckers director for KMPSS.

Rev. Joy-Faith wrote this: “Dear Martin. I went to a lot of trouble to arrange a little press conference at the clinic today. The journalists present are from the local newspapers. Many thanks for your hard work in exposing such a great man. God bless you.”

She received this: “Dear Rev I received a message from Dr Gio Perez about the wonderful gift that you would like to hand over to Dr Abdurahman CDC what a historical event we feel sincerely honoured.”