Waldensian Review No 130 Summer 2017 - Page 14

African, through which he contributed to giving African literature a growing world-wide readership. At the same time the NCL, which went on to become the African Resistance Movement, made itself known through acts of sabo- tage, blowing up electricity pylons and interrupting electrical supplies, but not attacking human beings as targets. Randolph’s political career ended abruptly in the summer of 1964 fol- lowing a series of arrests, which he managed to evade by a breakneck flight and thanks to a ‘lift’ on a Norwegian freighter direct to Canada, all organised by a friend with the help of the British and Norwegian Consuls. His house in Cape Town was burnt down; fortunately his wife and children were out. He was then to spend the following 26 years in Great Britain, though always active for the cause, and he played a key role in liberating Namibia from the South African yoke. He founded the Committee of Liberation, which then became the Namibia Support Committee, of which he was President until 1983, and subsequently Secretary. In 1973 he published the first book: Mani- festo of Independence of Namibia. Vital was his collaboration with the Anglican Canon James Collins, founder of the Defence and Aid Fund for Southern Africa, which contributed over £100,000,000 to ending white domination in South Africa. When finally Namibia became independent in 1990, the Vigne family could return to South Africa, where they used to pass half the year and where Randolph continued to hold high the flame of South African Liberalism. This was no easy task, especially given the wish of the new elite in power to cancel every liberal and white contribution to the struggle for liberation from Apartheid. However, in 2010 the conferment of the decoration The Order of Luthuli was a small recognition, of which Vigne was deeply proud. One of his last emails, in August 2015, said that he had just received The Waldensian Review, which I have now edited for 26 years, and, to quote his words verbatim, that ‘The only headline that could beat mine on the Pope in the Waldensian Church in Turin would be: “Astronauts declare that the Moon is made of green cheese”’. Joking apart, he went on, ‘the Pope who asks pardon from the Waldensians is a splendid story. Even if it is centuries late, I shall send photocopies of the article to not a few anti-papist friends’. The following month he apologised for not being able to come to Cambridge for the debate organised by myself on this history-making occasion with illustrious speakers such as Rowan Williams. In his last message, Randolph Vigne informed me that he had in his South African cottage the ‘beautiful 2015 Calendar’ with my father’s paintings and the story of our Committee on the reverse sides, and that he had already ordered the 2016 Calendar. ES 12