The evangelist Carl Georg Klibbe, arrived in South Africa from Australia in 1889; he was to begin mission work for the New Apostolic Church. His efforts at evangelising in Cape Town, where he landed, had limited success and, hearing of large numbers of German settlers in the vicinity of East London, he moved there in 1892. This was successful and the community that he founded built their own church in St Georges Road, Southernwood, an East London residential suburb.
In addition to Cape Town, Apostle Klibbe also sent servants to Port Elizabeth, Durban and Johannesburg. From these towns, servants were then sent to other centres such as Grahamstown, King Williams Town and Kimberley.
Unfortunately, a severe difference of opinion arose within the Church in South Africa. Apostle Klibbe had appointed G H W Schlapphof to the Bishop ministry in 1910 during a divine service, but had rescinded this appointment by 1912 and reduced it to a District Eldership. Sadly, this led to a division between Apostle Klibbe and District Elder Schlapphof.
On 21 September 1913, whilst in Germany, District Elder Schlapphof received the Apostle Ministry from Chief Apostle Niehaus. Apostle Klibbe was excommunicated from the New Apostolic Church by the Chief Apostle but refused to accept the ruling.
From 1913 onwards, there were 2 Churches in South Africa, both operating as the “New Apostolic Church”, the one led by Apostle Klibbe, the other by Apostle Schlapphof. This dispute and the bitter conflict between the two Apostles was only settled in 1926 by a Supreme Court Ruling that Apostle Klibbe, to continue his activities under the name “The Old Apostolic Church of Africa”.
Apostle Klibbe died on 22 May 1931. He was succeeded by Apostle C.F.W. Ninow who was the first Apostle to appoint black Apostles, Apostle S Hlatshwayo in 1953 and Apostle Ndovu in 1961.
Apostle Mqhaba who was in charge of the Eastern Cape District retired in 1986 and, Apostle Vika was ordained at Ezibeleni in Queenstown in 1986 by Apostle JJ La Kock to replace him.
Apostle Vika led the Church – INKONZO YESISEKO SABAPOSTILE NABAPROFETI (FOUNDATION OF APOSTLES & PROPHETS) until he passed away in 1993 as the Chief Apostle and was succeeded by Apostle C.F. Cakatha, who assumed the leadership of the Church until his passing away in July 2010.
In the extraordinary Conference of the Apostles in September 2013 in East London, Apostle M.Mpambani was elected unanimously as the Chief Apostle of the Church to succeed Chief Apostle Cakatha.