|Leader of the African Christian Democratic Party|
|Assumed office |
9 December 1993
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Member of the National Assembly of South Africa|
|Assumed office |
9 May 1994
Kenneth Rasalabe Joseph Meshoe
18 January 1954
Pretoria, South Africa
|Political party||African Christian Democratic Party|
(m. 1976; died 2023)
|Alma mater||University of the North|
|Occupation||Member of Parliament|
|Committees||Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation|
Kenneth Rasalabe Joseph Meshoe (born 18 January 1954) is a South African evangelist, politician, reverend and teacher. He has been serving as the inaugural leader of the African Christian Democratic Party, a Christian democratic political party, since 1993. He became a Member of Parliament in 1994 and has since been re-elected five times. He is one of the longest-serving MPs.
Early life, education and career
Meshoe was born on 18 January 1954 in Pretoria, South Africa. He matriculated from high school in 1972 and went on to study at the University of the North where he obtained a Secondary Teachers Diploma in 1975. He then proceeded to work as a teacher for the next few years.
He and his wife, Lydia, joined the Christ For All Nations in 1976. In February 1980, he found employment as one of Reinhard Bonnke's associate evangelists. He completed his second-year Theological Diploma at the Shekinah Bible Institute in Kingsport in the US state of Tennessee in 1987.
He established his church, the Hope of Glory Tabernacle, in 1988, when he returned to South Africa. In 1994, the Bethel Christian College of Riverside, California, awarded him an Honorary Doctorate (Doctor of Humane Letters). He was also appointed to serve as an Associate Member on the Board of Regents of Bethel College.
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The party's support peaked in the 2004 general election when it won seven parliamentary seats and representation in six provincial legislatures. Meshoe was consequently re-elected as an MP. After the 2004 election, the ACDP started to decline in each election. The party managed to arrest the decline in the 2019 general election. Meshoe is currently serving his sixth term as an MP. He is a member of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation.
Meshoe voted against the adoption of the final version of the South African constitution in 1996. He also opposes abortion. He voted against the legalisation of same-sex marriage in South Africa.
Meshoe has voiced support for the State of Israel, arguing against claims that Israel is an apartheid state, calling such accusations "slanderous" and "deceptive". According to Meshoe, these claims trivialise the word apartheid, and belittle the magnitude of the racism and suffering endured by non-white South Africans during the apartheid era.
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Meshoe married Lydia Meshoe in 1976, with whom he went onto have three children. They renewed their vows in 2016. Lydia had previously served as a representative of the ACDP in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature. On 25 January 2023, the ACDP announced that Lydia had died.
Meshoe underwent a COVID-19 test on 22 March 2020 after he participated in a religious gathering in the Free State with five infected international guests.  The ACDP deputy leader Wayne Thring announced on 27 March that Meshoe and fellow ACDP MP Steven Swart had tested positive for the virus. Meshoe did not show any symptoms, while Swart experienced flu-like symptoms. They were the first South African MPs to test positive for the virus.
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African Christian Democratic Party
C. R. Swart
Agang South Africa
Economic Freedom Fighters
2019 South African general election
Political parties that contested the 2019 South African general election
List of COVID-19 deaths in South Africa
- "Political Leader: Kenneth Meshoe, African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP)". The South African. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
- Gous, Nico (10 May 2019). "ANC in clear lead, DA slips, EFF and FF+ grow: Election results taking shape". TimesLIVE. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
- Ndenze, Babalo (23 May 2019). "Opposition parties congratulate President Ramaphosa, Malema gives warning". EWN. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
- "Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation". Parliament of South Africa. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
- "acdp - media - speech by K R Meshoe - 05/96" (PDF). www.justice.gov.za.
A number of clauses that were promoted and endorsed by other political parties, which we as the ACDP feel undermine biblical principles, have been included in this document. Consequently we are forced to vote against it.
- Janse van Rensburg, Alet (19 April 2019). "The time has come for a godly government - ACDP's Meshoe". Elections'19 - News24. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
- Tuesday, 14 November 2006. Proceedings of the National Assembly. Retrieved 27 March 2020
- Friedman, Daniel. "ACDP's Meshoe slams DA 'arrogance' after Trollip removed by 'racists'". The Citizen. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
- "AfriForum in Australia to highlight farm murders in SA". Polity.org.za. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
- "Reinstate ambassador to Israel – "SA Christians"". Polity.org.za. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
- "European Reporter Questions South African Member of Parliament on Israeli Apartheid Charge". youtube.com. IIACF. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
- "ACDP couple still in love after 40 years". TimesLIVE. 17 October 2016. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
- "ACDP leader's wife has passed away". SABC News. 25 January 2023. Retrieved 25 January 2023.
- "ACDP leader Kenneth Meshoe tested for coronavirus". IOL. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
- "ACDP leader Kenneth Meshoe tests positive for COVID-19". EWN. 27 March 2020. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
- Thring, Wayne. "ACDP statement on COVID 19 test results of Rev Kenneth Meshoe and Steve Swart MP". ACDP. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
- Madia, Tshidi (27 March 2020). "Coronavirus in SA: ACDP's Kenneth Meshoe and Steve Swart test positive". News24. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
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