The ANC’s ‘divine right’ to rule

byafrika

First he said that the ANC will rule until the return of Jesus and now recently President Jacob Zuma told party members that if they leave the ruling party they will incur the wrath of the ancestors. If you think Zuma is the only one to mouth such faux pas you are wrong. While launching their election manifesto last week, the ANC’s deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa told the gathered crowd in Atteridgeville that God and the ancestors want every South African to vote for the ANC in the upcoming elections.

Mr Ramaphosa is a businessman who is earmarked to woo the black middle class and those who are numbed by Mr Zuma. There was a view that his return to active politics would bring a measure of sophistication and civility to an ANC plagued by populist rhetoric, tribal tendencies and corruption. Mr Ramaphosa appears to be singing from the same hymn sheet as Mr Zuma and believes in the idea that his party has a divine right to rule.

How must we read these statements from such senior figures of the ANC and more importantly, how do members of the ANC who are Christian understand such statements? Do they see them as merely a joke or do they also believe their party is endorsed by God to rule South Africa? How are Ramaphosa and others able to discern the will of God in this matter and what does this same God say about the corruption that has engulfed the ANC? Is the corruption also part of God’s will?

I must admit if I was a member of the ANC I would be conflicted and embarrassed by the conduct of my leaders. I would be like a spouse staying in a marriage because of a commitment to the institution and the idea of marriage instead of a commitment to the person he or she is married to. As a South African I am embarrassed by the behaviour of our president and it would be worse if I was a member of his party.

He makes controversial statements which his party members have to defend. Many people think that he is being unintentional but I believe that he is being very deliberate about what he says. I think he keeps himself relevant through these off-the-cuff statements and his goal is to appease every constituency. For instance, when he speaks to Christians he will talk about the important role the Church plays but when he speaks to rural people and traditional leaders he will bemoan the negative influence of Christianity.

When he talks to people he perceives are Christian he will talk about God and when he talks to traditional communities he will talk about ancestors. It all depends who he is talking to. He was in Idutywa in the Eastern Cape when he made this statement: “People must remain in the party and try to fix things internally because those who do leave, they will attract the wrath of the ancestors, who will also bring that person bad luck” (http://www.timeslive.co.za/thetimes/2014/01/27/zuma-stirs-up-ghosts-at-anc-poll-rouser). He said this as he welcomed 100 people who had defected from the UDM and Cope. But how does a person decode such a statement to a foreigner or to a person unfamiliar with African culture?

Manipulative
To talk about the wrath of the ancestors is being very manipulative, especially after the recent passing of former president Nelson Mandela. As an African Zuma knows the African worldview regarding death and life after death and is using this to his advantage. Is this not the politics of manipulation? What is embedded in Zuma’s statement is the idea that the ancestors, whoever they are, are only appeased with an ANC rule and will turn against anyone who tries to unseat the ANC.

Not only is this idea disingenuous but it also encourages fatalism, the idea that people’s fate is dependent on some unseen spiritual forces. This is why the president talks about “bad luck.” He not only dances, sings, as a traditionalist, but he is also a superstitious president. We can’t read these blasphemous statements lightly. Remember in November last year Gwede Mantashe, the Secretary General of the ANC likened the tripartite alliance to the Holy Trinity and the ANC’s spokesperson, Jackson Mthembu once said: “God is with the ANC.”

I say these are politics of manipulation because God Himself is being used by people who don’t necessarily submit to Him and His commandments. He is a tool they are using to entrench their hold on power similar to how Afrikaners once viewed themselves as also having a divine right to rule. The problem with people who think they have a divine right to rule is that they struggle to relinquish power when such a time comes.

36 Comments

  1. Leonard Palframan

    Afrika a very enlightening take on particularly the ANC. I think South Africa’s political parties as all Political parties are corrupt but am fascinated by the longeviety of the ANC and what really educated intelligent individuals like Cyril R and Thabo M become like when in the party. Yet we read that we as Christians need to have respect for our lands governing bodies as they represent authority to us perhaps they believe that is why they are God ordained regardless of their beaviour. I pray that the day will come when all South Africans will experience a true Jesus revival. That we will be able to support our governing bodies and boast even about them knowing that we are boasting in the Lord by doing so. Bless you brother. Look forward to reading more.

    • Thank you Leonard. Indeed I also want to see a day where I can have pride in those who lead regardless of what political party they belong to.
      I think people who we deem to be intelligent ultimately also have to tow the party line. This is what politics are about, I think. It is the Lord that can bring us genuine and honest leadership.

  2. I was a provincial politician in a European country – and a Christian too. I see nothing biblically to say that everyone will have become a Christian by the Second Coming so by the same token, in all probability, not all South Africans will become Christians by then. But we are called to be ‘salt and light’ in this corrupt world. I was a Christian in a secular party; I did not always agree with my party and evenne got attacked by the leadership about my position. I see nothing biblically to say that Christians should start their own political parties – it is back to the ‘salt and light’ thing for me. The probelm as I see it with Ramaphosa’s comment is that even if he is supposed to appeal to the black African middle class, that group of S Africans can be as strongly in support of ancestral thinking as any one else. So his statements may not have been as damaging to the ANC for the vote of the middle class as is supposed.This is not a party political statement as I do not vote in S Africa but simply an awareness from following the politics of the country.

    • Hi Margaret,
      I want to get you correctly. Are you saying Christians should not start political parties?
      I agree with you regarding Ramaphosa’s statement. It really won’t raffle any feathers within people who already venerate the dead as part of their culture. And in any case lots of people do not really concern themselves with the statements made by their leaders but are only concerned about supporting a party regardless who leads it.
      This is why they argue that they don’t vote for a person but for a party. The leader of the party and his moral conduct never comes to play. Sad affairs.

  3. Another insightful analysis, Afrika. Politicians tend to say what pleases their audience, so their audience will vote for them. It is vote-catching manipulation. Ramaphosa was active in Christian youth work as a young man. He knows God’s truth. But he is allowing his Political mind to overshadow his Christian mind. Pray for him. Ferguson is right: in politics we must be salt and light and to be this we must be ‘transformed by the renewing of our minds to test and approve God’s will’ (Rom 12:2). But she is right in cautioning against Christians ‘starting their own political party’. Understand the distinct roles of the Church and the State. Our own SA history of a political Party that claimed to be Christian but ruled unChristianly is enough warning of the dangers of that route. This kind of history has had negative influence on our current attempts to speak Christianly into our national politics. But it must not stop us doing so.

    • I have heard about Ramaphosa’s past involvement in Christian activities Hugh. Someone told me that he was actually in a Christian students body while at varsity. It is a pity that he has forsaken that path.
      How do the Christians influence the political sphere if they don’t start a party to enter the political mix. It is not like Christians are making an impact in their unchristian parties. For instance when you are member of some parties you are required to tow and vote the party line regardless of your own personal convictions. How do we change this situation?
      I was listening to an address from a Christian politician who has been a member of the ruling party and he said that he has done all he could do bring change from within and now he has given up.

  4. On another tack: Palframan rightly wonders whether “they believe that is why they are God ordained regardless of their beaviour”. PW Botha believed this, and tried to use Rom 13 to force the churches to support his rule. But Rom 13 also expects the government “to be God’s servant to do you good” (v4). Most governments ignore this requirement, and factor “God” and “serving Him” and “doing the people good” out of their priorities. God appointed them, but that doesn’t mean they can rule as they wish: they must rule as God wishes. This is explained by Jeremiah 9:23,24. This is a way of understanding God and Government named “Delegation Theology”.

    • “they believe that is why they are God ordained regardless of their beaviour”. PW Botha believed this, and tried to use Rom 13 to force the churches to support his rule.” Hugh, I do not remember anything of this sort. This type of politically correct allegations against pre-1990 leaders is so easy and without any consequences. Reference your allegation please.

      • Hi Hanno, I don’t know if pre-1990 leaders themselves used the Bible to justify unjust laws but there is enough proof that NG Kerk did so and many members of the Nats were also members of NG Kerk. It is well known that NG Kerk used the Scriptures to justify the policy of apartheid. This is captured in the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). Here is the link to the report http://overcomingapartheid.msu.edu/sidebar.php?id=65-258-6. I hope that helps.
        Blessings

        • Hi Afrika, Hugh says above: “they believe that is why they are God ordained regardless of their behaviour – PW Botha believed this, and tried to use Rom 13 to force the churches to support his rule.” Having been a Great Karoo physician, D.R.C. elder and De Klerk-supporting N.P. branch committee member in the 80’s and 90’s, I do not remember anything of this sort. This type of politically correct allegations against pre-1990 leaders is so easy and without any consequences. Reference Hugh’s allegation please.

  5. The issue is not that both Mr Zuma and Mr Ramphosa actually believe what they they are saying but rather that they are intelligent enough to know and are in fact aware that they are manipulating diverse groups of people and displaying a lack of integrity in their process of manipulation. I for one am disappointed in Mr Ramphosa as I believed not that he was a Christian but that he did have integrity. Their actions are particularly problematic to me because they are in fact taking advantage of persons ignorance, beliefs and fears for their own political ends. This is the issue. More importantly however, they are blaspheming God by professing to know Him and using their knowledge of Him to fool others for their own ends.God will not be mocked. If only they knew the severe consequences of their blasphemy.

  6. Electioneering is with us. We will hear more and more from different political parties. Perhaps ours as the Church of The Lord Jesus Christ is to pray strategically that God Almighty in His own wisdom will quicken our understanding to know His will as we go to vote. Let’s pray that God will grant us a righteous government and righteous leaders. Blessings. Hlengani

  7. Margaret Ferguson, I agree with you. Not everyone will be saved and that’s probably why God came up with the idea of hell. And also I believe that the church is sufficiently equipped to be the salt and the light. A political party within the framework of a democratic political system is designed to contest elections in order to access state-power. Once a Christian values-based political party access state-power it would, inadvertently, find itself having to do what God chose not to do, which is to enforce the values espoused in the Word. I have no doubt in my mind that God, though He wants a everyone to be saved, doesn’t want to force anyone to be saved otherwise He would effortlessly make all of us to be saved in an instant.

    • Thanks Hlengani. Ntsikelelo is there no way a Christian party can instil values without forcing them on people? I mean if the views of people are canvassed through something like a referendum and the majority of the people are Christian then most likely they will support Christian values, is that not so?
      Those who don’t agree or are not Christian they don’t have to be forced to support the values but at least a Christian country would not create laws that are unchristian in order to cater for the few. Right now it is the rights of the few that are being on the majority. Is this proper? Ideally we should not legislate morality and that means we shouldn’t create laws that support immoral conduct like abortion. People who fornicate should be left to their own conscious but we should not create a system that encourages them to fornicate.

      • Mfundisi, there are two things here. One is values and the other is rights…values are the fruits whose roots is faith in other words, one’s faith is a determinant of his values. State and its organs cannot be a silo of a society’s values, the Word is…coming to rights, an individual will excercise or not excercise his right and his decision will be informed by his values. But if the rights are taken away, citizens wont have the power to choose and I believe choice is God-given otherwise He would force all of us to do His will as He has all the strength to do so.

  8. Margaret Ferguson

    At least 2 of the comments elaborate on my position, Afrika, re Christian political parties so the answer is that I do NOT believe that setting up Christian political parties is a biblical concept.

    • How is setting up a Christian political unbiblical Margaret? Are Christian supposed to be involved in politics? If the answer is yes then what is difference of being salt and light inside existing political parties and forming your own in order to affect the whole political sphere? What happens when you have been trying to change the direction of a political party without success like some have been with the ruling party? Do you know to support and defend the unrighteous laws? The issue is that when you are member of a political party you have to defend its positions even if they go against your convictions. Christians in the ANC supported abortion and other ungodly laws and now some are trying hard to defend the exorbitant expenditure in the President’s private home. Is this a tenable situation?

  9. Those who are born again need to ask themselves whether they owe their allegiance to God first of all or to a political party. Jesus said, “Pray that you will not enter into temptation”. Think of the situation in which Sodom and Gomorrah found themselves. What prompted God to destroy those countries and their inhabitants. Was it not unrighteous governments, leaders and people? How different is this nation-South Africa. Pray that you will not enter into temptation. Blessings. Hlengani

  10. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance (2Pet3: 9). For God so loved the world (people) that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John3: 16). I (God) call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I (God) have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life that you and your offspring may live (Deut30: 19). God desires that all should be saved but the choice is for the individual to choose to be saved or not. Blessings.Hlengani

  11. Thanks, Hanno, you are right to sort out rumour from fact. In a talk given by Michael Cassidy on his part in a delegation of churches (I think it was after SA Christian Leaders’ Assembly which I and many other Christian leaders attended) that visited PW Botha in the 1980s, he told of PW’s statement. The church leaders were carrying out a (SACLA? or NIR?) resolution protesting Apartheid. I’m sorry I cannot be more accurate on date and place, but I am sure of his statement. I quoted this statement in ch 17 of my book “Why Christians Disagree” (Struik 2001) and it has never been challenged.

    • Hugh, above you (and Afrika) said that PW Botha (and the Afrikaner) believed that they were God ordained to rule regardless of their behaviour. As a born again disciple of Christ, I tell you and Africa that you are speaking politically correct hogwash.

      • Hugh, above you/Afrika said that PW Botha/the Afrikaner) believed that they were God ordained to rule regardless of their behaviour,and he tried to use Rom 13 to force the churches to support his rule. As a born again disciple of Christ, I tell you and Africa that you are speaking politically correct hogwash.

        • With all due respect Hanno your argument is flawed. Hugh answered your question and made reference to his book and the SACLA meeting. I gave you a link to a website publishing the findings of the TRC commission. You have done nothing to disprove these sources and yet you want others to bring you proof. Where is your proof that PW Botha and the Afrikaners did not have these views? Just google the words ‘apartheid and the bible’ and see what you come up with. I know as a black South Africa that the Bible was one of the instruments used to subjugate black. It would be sad if you are accusing me of being untruthful. It seems to me that you are the one who is rewashing history. There are lot of black South Africans who refuse to be Christians because of how Christianity was used to entrench the oppression of blacks. Are we all imagining this? I personally do not have proof of PW Botha using Rom 13 and this is why I didn’t mention this in my article but I do know that Afrikaners generally believed that they had a divine right to rule and have superiority over blacks – what they considered to be an inferior race.
          Would you deny the fact that pseudo science was used to create the notion of a superior and inferior race? Many black children said they wanted to be ‘white’ when the question was asked ‘what do you want to be when you grow up.’ This was based on the idea that whites where superior to blacks and the question, where was this idea coming from?

          • You and Hugh sound like politicians dressed up as Christians. Go read e.g. the following Biblically based articles:-
            Dr Peter Hammond of Frontline Fellowship:-
            http://www.frontline.org.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=16&Itemid=201

            Dorothea Scarborough of Gospel Defence League:-
            http://christianaction-org-za.win07.glodns.net/GDL/articles.htm
            http://christianaction-org-za.win07.glodns.net/GDL/newsletters.htm

          • Cultural diversity. The Lord has determined boundaries between nations and cultural groups, and He expects us to honour them (Acts 17:26). That is a continuation of the confusion of tongues which occurred during the building of the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11:5-8). It was wrong in the eyes of the Lord that the Babylonians were building a world state with only one official language, so He gave every group their own language. They consequently dispersed and each settled in their own territory under their own government. This was the beginning of different cultural groups among the nations. The recognition of cultural diversity is the only basis for healthy relations among nations. In our commission to evangelise the world we are sent to every tribe and tongue and people so that each group should (preferably) be evangelised in their own language. In the end-time, under the instigation of Satan, the Antichrist and the false prophet, a world empire will be established with only one government, one religion and one economic system (Rev. 13:1-18). The emerging new world order expressed itself in favour of a system of global control. That will be a serious infringement of God’s order of independent and self-determining nations, and for that reason the Lord Jesus will, at His second coming, destroy the evil lifestyle, holistic social order and satanic empire of the Antichrist. http://www.bibleguidance.co.za/Engarticles/Fundamentalism.htm
            Social war
            As the Creator of human beings, God also laid down rules for social identity and the formation of groups to ensure the orderly functioning of society. The most important of these is the family unit which God has ordained to be the very bed-rock of ordered, disciplined, well-adjusted, happy, stable societies and nations. Satan relentlessly attacks these institutions in an effort to sow disorder and chaos.

            Cultural differences among various societies and nations are also minimised by superimposing universally acceptable trends and institutions on groups with a strong sense of identity – the aim being to erode their patriotism and transform their members into planetary citizens. These reforms, through which national and ethnic identity are discouraged, form the basis of the neo-Babylonian world society of the future. In that society, any ideology may be subscribed to, any religion may be practised, any type of marriage may be practised (e.g. same sex) or none, and no moral norms are enforced. When this stage has been reached in the demonic war against God’s standards for individuals, groups, and nations, Satan will have achieved his objective of creating cultural chaos and loss of identity among human beings. http://www.bibleguidance.co.za/Engbooks/Kingdom%20Of%20Satan/Satankingdom.2.htm

  12. Margaret Ferguson

    Hugh Wetmore’s response indicates my position – if you set up a Christian political party then you are in effect setting up a structure that in theory can become part of the state. That in my view is unbiblical. You do not have to agree with the position of your party as I said before and you can ‘stand up and be counted’ if you so choose and not follow a party line. One of the problems in S Africa as I see it is your voting system that relies totally on proportional representation – there is no element of the system that allows for people to support a particular candidate who they feel is morally sound through their track record. Here you simply vote for the party so it is fraught with problems re the quality of the individuals within
    it.

  13. Thank you Hanno, for mediating the blessings of Jesus to me: “Blessed are you when people falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.” (Matt 5:11) You falsely accused me of including “the Afrikaner” in PW’s statement. I did not. You falsely accuse me of saying “regardless of their behaviour”. I did not. Thank you for requesting the source of my statement. Today Michael Cassidy’s PA supplied this statement: “Michael says PW told him this during a private interview on 9 Oct ’85. He read Ro 13 to Michael and said the government was ordained by God. He objected especially to all the chapters saying different things! Michael’s not sure that PW said “regardless of their behaviour.” He doubts it.”
    You referred me to Indexes of the writings of Peter Hammond and Dorothea Scarborough, but you did not cite which documents denied PW Botha’s claims. Please cite your sources. I have known both Peter and Dorothea over many years and read many of their writings. I agree with some, disagree with others. They would say the same about me.
    You refer to Acts 17:26. Yes, It says God is sovereign and moves nations and boundaries around as His time-table wishes (Amos 9:7). Do not make this a proof-text for permanent nations and boundaries. My English uncle fought the Germans. I married a German. What ‘nation’ owns our children? Babel was reversed at Pentecost.
    Apartheid sabotaged the cross of Jesus by which He reconciled believing Jews and Gentiles. Please don’t try to take us back there.
    Every Government is tempted to invoke the “Divine Rights of Kings”. PW Botha is being copied by the ANC whose Chaplain today 6.2.2014 claimed the Party’s power in the name of God. That’s why Ferguson’s warning is valid. A “Christian govt” was judged by God, using the ANC, just as the theocratic govt. of Judah was judged by God, using Babylon. God uses evil governments to judge those govts that claim to be godly, but are not (Habakkuk 1:1-11). The fact that God appoints governments means that every govt is accountable to God, and will be judged by Him if they do not govern the way He wants them to govern – with Kindness, Justice and Righteousness in Humility (Jer 9:23,24).
    Hanno, my brother, let us judge everything by the objective standards of God’s Values in His Word, and not be swayed by political ideologies or correctness. There will never be a Perfect President, or a Perfect Party. Using our Christian Values we must work for the government that comes closest to what God wants. Not on a Single Issue, but on the basket of all its past achievements and future plans. May you also be blessed – not by being slandered (Matt 5:11), but by working for God’s Values in our society! Matt 6:33.

  14. Referendums are a cumbersome way of organising public will. There’s literally hundrends of thousands issues that constitute public will and political parties remain the better option of aggregating the chaotic public will. Of course that should not be construed to mean political parties are beyond criticism… Things like abortion, same-sex relationships, etc. preceded the legislations on these matters in other words these sins weren’t created by the legislation but legisilation was necessitated by their existence. Legislation or no legislation, these sins will remain in our society. Sins are a manifestation of how the inside-the heart-relates to the outside-the society. And state and its organs are not adequately equipped to alter the heart of man, where sin begins.

  15. Apartheid State – by Rev. Christo Heiberg (Canada)
    The other day a good friend referred in passing to modern Israel as an “apartheid state”. That piqued my curiosity. I have heard this before. Former president Jimmy Carter even wrote a book called “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid”. So what is an apartheid state? I decided to do some googling. Lo and behold there was much more to read than a busy reformed pastor can afford to spend his time on. One thing is sure enough though: Labeling Israel as an apartheid state amounts to political blasphemy of the worst kind, for Israel’s friends at least. In fact, there hardly is a worse stigma in the world today, than the stigma of apartheid.
    I should know since I have carried that stigma for many years, having lived in South Africa for close to forty years. In fact I know very few Afrikaners who have not carried the heavy burden of that stigma in one way or another. The world for some reason has decided this is it. This is the lowest level any society could ever descend to, notwithstanding the fact that we basically inherited the system of racial segregation from our colonial past.
    This stigma that was South Africa was obvious in so many ways. South Africa was about the only country against which the old cold war enemies could ever unite against, backed by the rest of the world. Not even present day North Korea, Iran or Syria can boast that achievement 25 years after the cold war. White South Africa was the only country against which text-book terrorism was considered perfectly legitimate by the civilized West – and still is – as long as the enemy was the “apartheid state”. South Africa was the only country that was ever banned from the Olympic Games for three decades. It was the only country whose citizens were denied visas to most other countries for a whole generation. It was also the only Western country that had to fight a drawn-out war against Soviet backed guerillas amidst an oil and arms embargo imposed by its “allies”. And so we can go on and on.
    Just how odious this little Afrikaner nation has become and how unforgivable her political transgressions were, is further illustrated by the following: The second half of the twentieth century has seen many cases of national apologies being made about war crimes and genocides to the descendants of its victims, in an effort to heal the deep festering wounds of the past. One sad exception is the refusal of the Turks to confess the brutal genocide of a million Armenians just over a century ago. Around the same time though, the mighty British Empire committed unspeakable atrocities on the prairies of South Africa against the world’s smallest white nation, because this tiny nation happened to stumble upon a big pot of gold! Yet no British apology has ever come forth for the forced starvation of 28 000 innocent women and children in British concentration camps between 1900 and 1902, in spite of the fact that all Britain blushed in shock and shame when it was revealed. The only reason – I presume – for the absence of an apology is the fact that the poor victims happened to be. Afrikaners! In fact the British Commonwealth’s nonchalant attitude toward this forgotten war crime is well illustrated by the fact that a proud Canadian city could name itself after the main perpetrator, Lord Horatio Kitchener!
    The extent of the international demonizing of white South Africa is further illustrated by the following statistics. A study conducted in 1977 revealed that the five primary news outlets in the United Sates; the New York Times, Washington Post, CBS, NBC, and ABC – while running among them only a single story on North Korea, seven on Cuba, and sixteen on Cambodia and its Khmer Rouge – ran a monstrous 513 stories condemning South Africa during 1976!
    So what is an “apartheid state” then? Let us ask a fierce critic who knew the old South Africa from the inside, Richard Goldstone, a former justice of the South African constitutional court and currently on the payroll of the United Nations. Under the heading “Israel and the Apartheid Slander” Goldstone went on to say the following in the New York Times last November: “While apartheid can have a broader meaning, its use is meant to evoke the situation in pre-1994 South Africa. It is an unfair and inaccurate slander against Israel, calculated to retard rather than to advance the peace negotiations”.
    Goldstone continues: “I know all too well the cruelty of South Africa’s abhorrent apartheid system, under which human beings characterized as black had no rights to vote, hold political office, use “white” toilets or beaches, marry whites, live in whites-only areas or even be there without a “pass”. Blacks critically injured were left to bleed to death if there was no “black” ambulance to rush them to a “black” hospital. “White” hospitals were prohibited from saving their lives”.
    So that is the horror that is apartheid.  It’s not my intent to defend apartheid and its sad legacy of statutory racial discrimination here, but to expose Goldstone and the world’s grotesque hypocrisy. For the sake of brevity, we’ll focus on his last statement, that ‘blacks critically injured (were) left to bleed to death” since there was supposedly “no black ambulance to rush them to a black hospital”. I wonder just how many such cases Judge Goldstone was honestly aware of? I am almost certain such cases were rare. A close relative of mine, having entered the South African medical world in 1979 – working in emergency units of public hospitals across the country – cannot recall a single incident where life or limb was ever saved or lost on the basis of the patient’s skin.
    What I do know is that there were more hospitals and ambulances operating in South Africa serving our African population than in the whole of Africa at the time. The biggest hospital in the world was right there in Soweto with 3 200 beds, 8 000 staff at its peak, 23 operation theatres and a host of medical doctors, funded by white taxpayers money! This is just one of the countless apartheid stories that Goldstone prefers to omit and which many ordinary Africans my age are longing back for today, not to mention clean water, safe beaches, unplugged toilets, employment opportunities, much safer neighborhoods, etc. I also remember occasionally going with my dad to the university where he taught for twenty years, built in one of the “homelands” for our African people. It never occurred to me as I beheld the impressive campus nestled away in such beautiful surroundings, or as I walked through the state of the art auditorium and cafeteria, that it was all part of a “cruel and abhorent system” aimed at oppression. But then what else can you expect from a “brainwashed” Afrikaner kid?
    The “cruel and abhorrent apartheid system” is further exonerated by the following staggering truth. At the start of his BBC documentary series “The War of the World”, Harvard historian Niall Ferguson makes the telling statement that the 20th Century was one long war of savagery motivated by racism among other things. What the Japanese did to the Koreans and the Chinese, what the Turks did to the Armenians and the Greeks, what the Russians did to the Slavs and Polish and other minorities, and later to the poor fleeing Germans, what the Nazi’s did to the Jews and the Polish and many others, what the British did to Dresden and Hamburg and the Americans to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, what Mao did to his own people, and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, what Saddam Hussein did to the Kurds, what the Hutu’s did to the Tutsi’s and the Balkan peoples to each other, was in every instance motivated by some form of racism! The attacker viewing his enemy as an inferior race, or as Ferguson alleges, “vermin”!  Whether Ferguson’s thesis is correct is the reader’s to decide, but one obvious fact strikes you if you are an Afrikaner: We did not make his list!  We truly feature nowhere in six hours of 20th century sordid savagery! And that while the “racist abhorrent apartheid system” had all the means at its disposal – a pretty mighty army – and while its people had every reason to feel “justified” doing it, considering what happened to colonial Europeans throughout the rest of Africa.
    The “cruel and abhorrent apartheid system” is also exonerated by Nigel Cawthorne’s book on “History’s Most Evil Despots and Dictators”. You will find all sorts of ghosts from Akhenaten to Gaddafi in there, from nearly every nation under the sun, and up to 40 tyrants belonging to the 20th century alone. But again, among nine 20th Century African tyrants not a single Afrikaner name is found! And that while they ruled South Africa for almost 90 years! Truly astonishing!
    Is it not also revealing that Mr. Nelson Mandela, convicted for acts of terrorism, could emerge out of 27 years of imprisonment by this “cruel and abhorrent apartheid system” well enough to lead his country with dignity for five years. Survival beyond a few years in the notorious Chikurubi maximum security prison in Zimbabwe – of a mere political opponent of Robert Mugabe – will be considered a sheer miracle.
    All of this as I have said is no defense of apartheid but an indictment of the world’s unashamed hypocrisy that shows no sign of abating. One white farmer per week is being murdered in South Africa today (often in the greatest brutality), making it the most dangerous job under heaven on the planet since the end of apartheid. Western governments and its news media for the most part deliberately turn a blind eye to the killing fields. A Flemish lobby group in Brussels is doing its utmost to force this slowly growing genocide of white South Africans onto the European Parliament’s radar asking a solemn question: “Hoeveel moeten er sterven voordat u de stilte breekt?” (How many must die before you will break the silence?)
    The stigma of my country clung to me for the best part of my life. It does so no more. When one of my sons recently returned from a visit to the old country sporting a T-shirt with a Boer-War warrior on his chest, I felt extremely proud. Twenty years ago I would have blushed. However, what saddens me most today is not the injustice of apartheid, nor even a looming genocide, but how a God-fearing people of three centuries could forsake the Fountain of living waters, only to hew for themselves cisterns that can hold no water (cf. Jer. 2:13). That is the true tragedy of the Afrikaner and the deepest loss of my country.

  16. I agree with Afrika Mhlope’s article.
    This is a very long thread which has diverged from the original topic. However, I just want to add that if there were a “secular” party that upheld godly values, I would have voted for it. However, the two main parties endorse ungodly policies and legislation, so I cannot in good conscience vote for either of them. I believe the Lord raised up the ACDP to be salt and light in Parliament, and that is the role it has carried out. Any promotion is from the Lord anyway, and I believe that God works through minorities, so he gets the glory.
    In our “post-Christian” world, it is telling that even ostensible Christians like Margaret Ferguson find it objectionable to vote for a Christian party, and regard the possible prospect of a ruling party that is Christian as anathema. Yes, I’ve come across others like her. Some even refuse to vote because politics is worldly! While God’s kingdom is not of this world, why should government be completely relinquished by Christians into the hands of those under the dominion of “the god of this age”? Those Christians who think that there shouldn’t be a Christian party and so vote for secular parties that endorse ungodly policies, cannot then complain when that government bulldozes through (as it has already done) laws that allow abortion on demand, the influx of pornography, and same-sex marriage.

  17. Thanks, Hanno, but among the many Indexes you cite on their web-pages, I still do not find any proof that PW Botha did NOT say what Michael Cassidy heard him say. So let’s accept that he said it, and put that debate to bed.

    You are obviously hurting at a very deep level from the stigma of being associated with Apartheid, by virtue of your birth (over which you had no control). That was exactly how many of our black brothers felt when they suffered under apartheid because of their birth (over which they had no control). At the root of it all is that ALL of us were born sinners (over which we had no control). So it doesn’t help to argue that there are others who are worse sinners than our group. God’s ultimate justice will punish some with more blows than others (Luke 12:47,48). If even in this life, those responsible for Apartheid’s laws and administration were punished worse than the heathen who committed worse crimes, it is because they had been “entrusted with much” – the Gospel and God’s Word (v48).

    This anomaly from our recent history has made many cautious about assuming that a “Christian Government” will be the solution. And, given our options, it could be wise to vote for a “Christian Party”. But remember that Israel was a theocracy with Laws delivered directly by God to Moses. Yet it didn’t work – Israel failed dismally, and needed the rebuke of generations of God’s Prophets. Even that didn’t help. God used a more evil nation to punish Israel (Habakkuk 1) It is so easy to become cynical and disillussioned. Yet we must persevere in realistic hope while being salt and light in our society, and fixing our eyes on Jesus who will come again and usher in a new heavens and earth, in which Righteousness dwells. (2 Peter 3:13,14). May the Lord Jesus be with your spirit!

  18. From: Dorothea Scarborough:
    The word apart-hate was, of course, coined by the communists for propaganda purposes. Even the word ‘apartheid’ was coined (by ‘die Burger’) for propaganda reasons. ‘Separate development’ was used much less.
    In South Africa two cultures met one another, one stone-age and one space age. In order to allow the stone-agers to enter and take their place in a Christian civilisation, separate development was practised through establishing ethnic schools, churches, governments etc. This is in keeping with the Biblical principle that each nation should be ruled by leaders of their own kind.
    Looking at Ezra and Nehemiah etc, race mixing is forbidden in the Bible. In fact, the Bible (God) discriminates in every respect, spiritually, morally, and physically. It is the very concept of ‘discrimination’ which was attacked by the communists who demand absolute equality.
    The ‘liberation struggle’ was not some noble freedom fight! It was a classic communist revolution, very cleverly run through (and against) the Church. That is why the then government was so helpless in combatting it, and revolutionaries like Tutu became ‘heroes.’ The first thing they did at coming to power was to take God out of the constitution, abolish the Ten Commandments, and reject public Christianity. Our present chaos is the result.
    The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was a kind of watered-down Nuremberg trial conducted by the victors (marxists),