Dr Cecile Cilliers (née Pretorius) is a literary artist, writer and journalist. She was born in Franschhoek and later obtained a BA degree in Languages from UP. Subsequently she obtained a BAHons degree from the University of the Witwatersrand, followed by an MA cum laude and a DLitt et Phil degree from RAU, currently known as the University of Johannesburg. After her marriage to John Cilliers the couple settled in Johannesburg.
As early as in 1976, together with Bridget Oppenheimer, Dr Cilliers was a co-founder of the organisation Women for Peace, which aimed at ensuring equal opportunities for all. She still addresses reading clubs and since the church is one of her interests, she occasionally delivers a sermon. She was the first woman to serve on the synodal board of the Dutch Reformed Church in Southern Transvaal and the General Synodal Commission of the Dutch Reformed Church. She was a former chairperson of the Board of the Centre for Christian Spirituality and is still involved in the activities of this organisation.
Since 1981, Cecile has been writing a regular column for Beeld and also writes reviews and articles for other newspapers and magazines. Some of her short stories and essays have been published in anthologies, the most recent being As almal ver is, compiled by Danie Marais and published by Tafelberg. Her published books include Ma's het engelvlerke, Begenadigde vroue, Jy's veelkantig and Magspel, as well as numerous biblical diaries. Collections of her columns written for Beeld and De Kat were published by Lux Verbi and Tafelberg Publishers respectively. She also appeared in many television programmes, including programmes screened by CNTV and kykNET, and did many radio broadcasts. She now
lives in the Cape again and is an honorary citizen of Biesiesvallei in the Northern Cape.