From Pastor John Preller, Port Elizabeth
We didn’t deserve Nelson Mandela, but we were blessed with his compassion, vision and wisdom, guiding our fledging democracy through the treacherous currents that threatened to abort the birth of our Rainbow Nation.
Will we deserve what we tolerate with Malema’s poisonous tongue lashing out at our troubled democracy?
ANC Youth League president Julius Malema reportedly told a crowd in front of President Jacob Zuma recently that whites should be regarded as “criminals” for “stealing” land from blacks,
Independent Online (IOL) reported that Malema accused whites of turning “our land into game farms”, and that the “willing-buyer, willing-seller (system)” had failed. “We must take the land without paying. They took our land without paying,” Malema is reported to have said to the crowd of about 3 000 people at the Galeshewe Stadium outside Kimberley on the 6 May 2011.
Julius Malema ratcheted up the ANC Youth League’s anti-white rhetoric a few more gear shifts. He said, among other things, that “we must take the (whites’) land without paying. Once we agree that they stole our land, we can agree they are criminals and must be treated as such.” “They” (white farmers – or perhaps whites in general?) are thieves. He said to wild cheers.
Malema continued to dish out insults to most opposition parties, calling DA leader Helen Zille a “dancing monkey” from “monkey town”. Cope, the PAC and the IFP received similar scathing commentary.
He reprimanded them for allowing “the madam to kiss your children, when you know that the
madam does not care about your children”.
Zuma then sang his “Bring Me My Machinegun” song. Then he sat smiling quietly while Malema continued his tirade.
Malema’s performance took place on a platform that was shared by the President of all South Africans, black and white alike. President Zuma has sworn an oath to uphold our constitution and “to protect and promote the rights of all South Africans”.
Malema often threatens people, especially white South Africans including those within the ANC. He is a militant supporter of President Jacob Zuma, famously saying that he was willing to “kill for Zuma”!
Zuma has stated publicly that Malema has the potential to be a future president.
It has been reported that in a racist outburst at a public meeting in March, Malema burst into song, singing, “Shoot the boere, they are rapists.” The killing of farmers (the vast majority of whom are white, both English and Afrikaners), infers Afrikaners as a nation.
Malema sang the “Kill the Boer” song at his birthday celebrations in Polokwane, a province where six farmers were murdered in recent months. AfriForum said that it would seek an urgent high court interdict to stop Malema from singing the song.
Julius Malema’s reported comments and singing would suggest that he regards the white population as criminals and that boere should be shot!
Let us compare this with the position of Nelson Mandela after his democratic victory and his defining moment speech to the nation during a very tense and tragic blow to our early democracy
Nelson Mandela Speech to the Nation
“Tonight I am reaching out to every single South African, black and white, from the very depths of my being.
“A white man, full of prejudice and hate, came to our country and committed a deed so foul that our whole nation now teeters on the brink of disaster.
“A white woman, of Afrikaner origin, risked her life so that we may know, and bring to justice, this assassin.
“The cold-blooded murder of Chris Hani has sent shock waves throughout the country and the world. Our grief and anger is tearing us apart.
“What has happened is a national tragedy that has touched millions of people, across the political and colour divide.
“Our shared grief and legitimate anger will find expression in nationwide commemorations that coincide with the funeral service.
“Tomorrow, in many towns and villages, there will be memorial services to pay homage to one of the greatest revolutionaries this country has ever known.
“Every service will open a Memorial Book for Freedom, in which all who want peace and democracy pledge their commitment.
“Now is the time for all South Africans to stand together against those who, from any quarter, wish to destroy what Chris Hani gave his life for – the freedom of all of us.
“Now is the time for our white compatriots, from whom messages of condolence continue to pour in, to reach out with an understanding of the grievous loss to our nation, to join in the memorial services and the funeral commemorations.
“Now is the time for the police to act with sensitivity and restraint, to be real community policemen and women who serve the population as a whole. There must be no further loss of life at this tragic time.
“This is a watershed moment for all of us.
“Our decisions and actions will determine whether we use our pain, our grief and our outrage to move forward to what is the only lasting solution for our country – an elected government of the people, by the people and for the people.
“We must not let the men who worship war, and who lust after blood, precipitate actions that will plunge our country into another Angola.
“Chris Hani was a soldier. He believed in iron discipline. He carried out instructions to the letter. He practised what he preached.
“Any lack of discipline is trampling on the values that Chris Hani stood for. Those who commit such acts serve only the interests of the assassins, and desecrate his memory.
“When we, as one people, act together decisively, with discipline and determination, nothing can stop us.
“Let us honour this soldier for peace in a fitting manner. Let us rededicate ourselves to bringing about the democracy he fought for all his life; democracy that will bring real, tangible changes in the lives of the working people, the poor, the jobless, the landless.
“Chris Hani is irreplaceable in the heart of our nation and people.
“When he first returned to South Africa after three decades in exile, he said: ‘I have lived with death most of my life. I want to live in a free South Africa even if I have to lay down my life for it.’ The body of Chris Hani will lie in State at the FNB Stadium, Soweto, from 12 noon on Sunday 18 April until the start of the vigil at 6pm. The funeral service will commence at 9am on Monday, 19th April. The cortege will leave for Boksburg Cemetery, where the burial is scheduled for 1pm.
“These funeral service and rallies must be conducted with dignity.
“We will give disciplined expression to our emotions at our pickets, prayer meetings and gatherings, in our homes, our churches and our schools. We will not be provoked into any rash actions. We are a nation in mourning.
“To the youth of South Africa we have a special message: you have lost a great hero. You have repeatedly shown that your love of freedom is greater than that most precious gift, life itself. But you are the leaders of tomorrow. Your country, your people, your organisation need you to act with wisdom. A particular responsibility rests on your shoulders.
We pay tribute to all our people for the courage and restraint they have shown in the face of such extreme provocation. We are sure this same indomitable spirit will carry us through the difficult days ahead.
“Chris Hani has made the supreme sacrifice. The greatest tribute we can pay to his life`s work is to ensure we win that freedom for all our people.”
At this extremely volatile time in our history, Nelson Mandela demonstrated the qualities of statesmanship, compassion, integrity, honour and leadership that welded a fragmented people into a rainbow nation.
Does Malema’s rhetoric honour Nelson Mandela’s legacy? The question is: what lies ahead for our nation?
II Chronicles 7:14 says: “If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
II Chronicles 13:5 says: “Should you not to know that the Lord God of Israel gave the dominion over Israel to David forever, to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt?”
A covenant of salt was a covenant made between persons pledging an unbreakable friendship. They vowed a strong friendship to each other, and as a symbol of that covenant, they ate bread and salt together. The bread symbolized the nourishment of the friendship and the salt, with its savouring capacity, emphasised the durability of the friendship.
The Christian is called the salt of the earth. Matthew 5:13 says: “You are the salt of the earth:”
God will not enter into a covenant with a nation unless there is enough salt for the preservation of that nation.
Abraham came to God and begged for the salvation of Sodom. His nephew, Lot, was there, and Abraham did not want Lot and his family destroyed. He asked God that if he could find 50 righteous people, would God spare the city? God agreed to do so.
Finally, God agreed that He would save Sodom for 10 righteous people!
I trust and believe that God has an allocation for South Africa, — a proportion of righteous people who are possessed with the attributes of righteousness; a commitment of Christ in response to their faith and with the personal righteousness of a holy life! I don’t know what that quota is. In Sodom it was 10. How many in South Africa?
The way ahead for South Africa is not for preachers to leave their pulpits and become politicians. We should vote. However we should pray for our elected officials and our country.
We must continue to “go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19).
God will look down from Heaven and forgive our sins and heal our land. As the Salt we would need to meet Gods requirements. Notice again the words in II Chronicles 7:14, as follows:
“If My people, which are called by My name.” We become the salt.
“Shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways.” We become the salt with savour.
“Then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” We meet God’s requirement and experience the salvation of our nation.
The answer is in building soul-winning churches over our nation. Some believe that the nation will be spared by the ruling Government. I believe that South Africa can only be spared through Divine intervention!