‘My president is the almighty God, and that’s who I serve’ — reborn, veteran ANC fighter, Neil de Beer

Neil de Beer in front of a photograph of former president Nelson Mandela who inspired him greatly during his early years in the ANC

White Afrikaner Neil de Beer, 51, this week announced that after 32 years in the ANC he is leaving the party where he served as a military commander in the struggle and as an intelligence chief to head up an organisation called the United Independent Movement of South Africa (UIM SA) that will educate citizens about their rights to stand as independent parliamentary candidates and to elect independents

In an interview with Gateway News yesterday the ANC veteran and international business leader said that his decision was the culmination of a 4-year political struggle, an 8-year spiritual struggle and a wrestling match with his conscience which went way back to 1988 when as a young South African Security Police spy he walked across to the ANC and entered the Umkhonto We Sizwe recruitment system.

De Beer said that now, 32 years later, his current new life course was set was just over a month ago “on the 29th of August at 42 minutes to 7 in the evening” when he accepted Jesus as his Saviour and Lord.

We were speaking in a telephone conversation a day before De Beer was scheduled to appear with Mmusi Maimane chief activist of One South Africa (OSA) at a press conference in Cape Town to announce his resignation from the ANC and his launch of UIM SA and collaboration with OSA in seeking to change the political landscape in SA along non-partisan lines.

Sharing some of his life story which is documented in a best-selling book Undercover With Mandela’s Spies he spoke of joining the army after he left school, fighting in Angola, being recruited by the Security Police and “walking over to the ANC” after his conscience told him that he was fighting for a cause that was “not right”.

“I was only 21 but already a hardened soldier,” he said of the time he concluded that he was not defending the liberty of his country as he had once believed but was fighting an enemy created by apartheid government propaganda.

“One day, as I was interrogating a terrorist, he looked at me and said: ‘You can kill me, you can murder me but after me comes a million and after that another million. Because this is not about race, this is about dignity.’

“I then realised that something fundamentally is wrong. Why are we killing them? Why are we murdering them? And that was my journey to change.”

De Beer said his recent political struggle began in 2016 when he saw that the ANC was no longer the party of former president Nelson Mandela whose vision and leadership had inspired him greatly.

“I saw that we [the ANC] were going in the wrong direction. There was no doubt. And then I began my journey of beginning to try and fight internally in the ANC to become leadership so that I could effect change,” he said.

Three years before that, at a time when he was manager of the Under 21 Springbok rugby team, his soul struggle began, when his first team captain, Luke Watson, invited him to attend a service at Hillsong Church in Cape Town.

“I lasted 30 minutes and then I walked out. It overwhelmed me, the noise the songs. I burst into tears and walked out that church never to return again.

“Going outside and trying to breathe — you know, I fear no-one. I’m scared of nobody. But I feared this thing. You know, I’m a trained spy by the KGB. But this thing — this overwhelming power that came over me [in the church], it was unacceptable. It was rejected by me and it was never, ever thought about again,” he said.

Unknown to De Beer, a key relationship in his spiritual journey, had begun earlier, when at the age of 28 when he headed up a company, Rhino Rugby, which was an equipment supplier to the Springbok team, he met businessman and marketplace Christian leader Graham Power, who at the time was on the board of Western Cape Rugby.

He said Power had a fatherlike influence on his life.

“Since then [their meeting] Graham and I met every year. Graham prayed for me and I ignored those prayers because I did not want to go to that side,” he said.

“And then, on the 29th August, Graham and Mike Louis [a businessman and marketplace Christian leader who pioneered a campaign which led to this year’s Constitutional Court ruling which opened the way for new legislation in the pipeline that will allow independents to stand for parliament] called me and they brought me to Graham’s house. They sat me down and they said:’We have a feeling that you are ready.’

“And I said: ‘Ready for what?’ And they said: ‘Well, we hear you are going to lead the country. You are going to run for president. You are going to leave the ANC. And you are going to fight for what is right.’

“I said: ‘Yes, that is true.’

“But they said to me: ‘There is one thing that you need to sort out.’

“I said to them: ‘That is why I am here.’

“I [had] stood at the gate of Graham and I did not want to go in. And I put on a song that has now bugged me for three months: It’s a song called ‘Raise a Hallelujah’, and I have played it 163 times to myself. And the minute I put on that song I knew that I would drive through these electric gates and I would not leave as the same human being again.

“And it [giving his life to Jesus] was one of the most anointing, wonderful moments at 51 years old in my life. And the thing now about living in the light, you can see the dark clearly now. So I am great. I am blessed. I am in the hands of a president who never goes for reelection, funnily. My president doesn’t go to a ballot box. My president doesn’t ask for votes. My president is the almighty God — and that’s who I serve.”

Neil de Beer, centre, on the joyful evening that he came to Jesus, together with Graham Power, left and Michael Louis

Referring to his joint press conference with Mmusi Maimane the next day, he said they would announce through their organisations, for the next three years “that it will be our solemn job to educate 50 million people in South Africa about the strength of God, the strength of light, and the power that every person in this country has to make a change.

“And if God is willing, and if it is necessary, then we will stand for leadership in this country.”

De Beer, who is president of the Investment Fund Africa, was a panellist in the business track of last week’s inaugural School of Governance online September Elective.

“We, the people, need people in this country who can lead. There is no more time for politicians; there is only time for business people,” he said in our interview.

“We are 51% cut on economy and 53% unconfirmed unemployment in this republic. So, what do we need? We need God’s light and money to give our people bread again. We must stop stealing, we must stop corruption, we must fight capital flight.”

He said his onslaught is against corruption, crime and to bring capital back — all under the guidance of Christ.

On the planned collaboration between OSA and his new UIM movement, he said: “Its critical that we stand together now because we have different demographic groups we can speak to and in that way we are covering 50 million South Africans.”

Describing himself as passionate about South Africa and about Africa he said: “People don’t know their power. Nine million people of 50 million in the country have kept a certain organisation in power for 27 years.”

He said godly men and women must arise now and make themselves available for office “because the only way we can defeat the present is by conquering the past so that we can create a united future”.


  1. I was very skeptical about Neil until I met him and saw how God really changed him and ignited the passion to use him as an instrument to save SA from its current path and leadership. I encourage people to join the independent movement…here comes a thing that many people have been praying for a long time

    • Professor Allen

      Strange this whole article. God send Joseph into a government who didn’t know God. Yet God make him second in Charge. What is it with Christian’s. Jesus came for the sinner. Not for those who are righteousness. I’m a reborn blood washed soldier for Christ. Does the bible not say, “We must carry the government of the day on our shoulder’s. I dont see at any time he was led by the Holy Spirit. Then I realized. It’s TRUE only some are Eagles. Eagels never back of but they are the ones who path a new way. Its heart broken that the church have no answer to government.

  2. Excellent article Andre !! Jesus lead and call more like Neil to be the change.

    Such Hope !

  3. I believe that God is about to do something, He needs us people of God to wake up from our spiritual sleep and unite.

  4. “There is a way that seemeth right to man, but the end thereof, are the ways of death & destruction!!”

  5. As a born again believer in Jesus. I agree entirely with the concept of independant representation that is orientated in economic developement, free of corruption and graft, and upholding Godly principles.

  6. Wow. Such an amazing answer to prayers. God certainly is going to use him mightily. Bless you.

  7. Where the light of God is there can be no darkness and when we as sons of God stand up en walk in His light that is when the change will come and i strongly belueve tha Niel de Beer can be that light where our God can be seen in his life and his light will change peoples hearts and mines because our problem lies in our minds and there is where the change must come. I will prayer for him and my God be in control of this movement and then we will make a difference in our land the land of the all mighty God. He is the creator of the world and we as sons must be His image on earth to restore His kingdom.

  8. May Neil be used by God in a mighty waynand bring Glory to the name Of Jesus Christ Our redeemer

  9. Freddie Riley.

    I agree for what Neil de Beer stands for AMEN.

  10. Marius van der Merwe

    Like You told us how to pray Jesus – Father let Your Kingdom come and let Your will be done on this earth as it is in Heaven now – that is all we ask Great Eternal Creator Father

  11. Johann Schlebusch

    Some seed fell on fertile soil, some on the rocks, some between thorns and thistles….it is not him who begins, but him who finishes the race……

  12. If he really gave his heart to God.
    If he really believe in Jesus.
    If he really is a changed man.
    If he really isn’t on an agenda to entrap or betray anybody.
    God will show us.
    So far all we have is his words which means nothing, coming from a person trained to deceive.
    So far I havent heard his views on Communism. Did those beliefs change with the “reborn” or is that still a firm belief?
    Makes one wonder why the constant focus on “I am reborn”, yet not a word about his political beliefs which has been his views for decades – Communism!

  13. Is Neil is baptized, baptized with the Holy Spirit?Acts 2:38, 1 Cor 12:13,Matt 28:19-20. I hear from the Lord. There is great change coming, and uprooting, only leaders chosen by the Lords hand will stand. Now in this land is not a time to mess around.

  14. I believe the time has come for God fearing men and woman to take a stand against the moral and social decay we are seeing all over the world and particularly in our beloved country. We need to be the voice for the poor and down trodden and trust our Almighty Father in Heaven to guide us in wisdom and unity to forge a better South Africa for everyone irrespective of political persuasion. Jesus is the answer to a dying world

  15. Good afternoon

    I’ve not met Neil de Beer but as an activist, myself l have been ridiculed by many for what l believe is right.

    I also have seen and experienced the gross violation of of human rights pre and post 1994 but chose to remain silent for 49 out of my 54 years what we hear, see and read is not always the truth.

    I would love to share my personal experiences on the same stage as Neil de Beer for people to understand why Neil might have done what he had done in the past.

    My God says, if we can”t forgive and forget as a reborn christian, who are we to point fingers and l am definitely not liberal but a true son of South Africa, an Afrikaner but also a victim of many unfounded and untrue statements which is yet to be proved incorrect.

    I believe Niel de Beer is honest in what he says and that South Africa should give him a change to express his views, one to one not on social media.

    I would share my honest opinion the day after l’ve met and spoken to Neil de Beer, l would always remain brutally honest, good or bad.

    Kind regards
    Johan Rousseau
    FIRA Chairman