Turmoil and Tragedy
What is Happening in South Africa?
The Shared Heritage of America and South Africa
To many Americans, South Africa is a regular news item of inexplicable turmoil and tragedy. Yet few realise the tremendous similarities between the history of the United States and that of South Africa. Nor do many appreciate how closely our fortunes and futures are connected.
Shortly after Portuguese explorer Bartholemeu Diaz first landed on the shores of South Africa in 1488, Spanish explorer Christopher Columbus landed in the Americas in 1492.
Throughout the 1600’s both America and South Africa were settled by pilgrims seeking religious freedom from Holland, France, England, Scotland and Germany.
While American pioneers were moving Westwards in covered wagons to settle the vast, mostly uninhabited, interior; South African voortrekkers (pioneers) were embarking on the Great Trek Northwards and Eastwards, also in covered wagons.
Just as the American pioneers had to cross the Rocky Mountain Range so too the vooctrekkers crossed the vast Drakensberg mountains. As the pioneers drew their wagons in a circle to defend their families from the hostile attacks so the voortrekkers formed the laager.
Both South Africa and America had their gold rush. Both our countries fought the redcoats. Both our nations endured a vicious war between the states. South Africa was even known as the Union of South Africa (USA) between 1910 and 1960!
In our history we find remarkable similarities between great Christian leaders of our two nations. South African President Paul Kruger and US President George Washington were similar courageous Christian men of principle. Orange Free State General Christian De Wet and Virginian General Robert E. Lee were both outstanding strategists, staunchly principled and much loved by their soldiers even in the face of crushing defeat. Boer General De La Rey and Confederate General Stonewall Jackson also shared a boldness and bravery on the battlefields that inspired their followers to heroic achievements.
The military mistakes and heroism of Custers Last Stand were almost duplicated in the battle of Isandlwana in Zululand. The courageous defence of the Alamo in Texas was repeated in the defence of Rhokes Drift in Natal. On these and hundreds of other occasions the common ancestry and similar conditions of South Africa and America can be clearly seen.
South Africans also fought alongside their American allies in World War I, World War II and Korea. More importantly South Africans share a similar Christian heritage and missionary vision. American authors and radio presenters such as James Dobson, John Mac Arthur and James Kennedy are as well known in South Africa as in the States. Most of the Christian books and tapes in South Africa are from America. Six Americans have served as missionaries of Frontline Fellowship. And my wife Lenora is from the United States.
The Importance of South Africa for the USA
It would he impossible to overemphasise the strategic importancc of South Africa to the industrial nations of the West. South Africa contains the worlds largest known deposits of gold. platinum, chrome, manganese, vanadium and fluorspar. It also contains substantial deposits of antimony, asbestos, copper, diamonds, iron ore, lead, phosphates, titanium, uranium and other strategic metals. Without these vital minerals America could not manufacture air-conditioners, refrigerators, motor vehicles or jet aircraft.
In addition the Cape sea route is the busiest in the world with more than 26 000 ships sailing past South Africa every year. More than 30% of all U.S. oil imports, 50% of Western Europe’s oil and 25% of Western Europe’s food supplies travel around the Cape of Good Hope.
Revolutionary Chaos Threatens S.A.For decades, South Africa has been the target of an unprecedented international campaign of media propaganda, economic warfare and revolutionary violence.
For decades South Africans have been slandered by an extraordinary media campaign of deception and distortion, bias and brainwashing, propaganda and prejudice. Ignoring the 80 violent revolutions, 49 dictatorships and 40 civil wars of Africa the international media has zeroed in on an obsession with South Africa out of all proportion to it’s coverage of the other 54 nations of Africa.
Instead of using the wide angle lens of context, most journalists reporting on South Africa seem to have preferred the zoom lens of selective reporting. The opinions of criminals were repeated while those of their victims were forgotten. Peace accords enjoyed prominent headlines, while violations were tucked away in small print. The promises of socialists received much attention whilst their atrocities barely merited passing mention. The agenda of the revolutionaries dominated the headlines whilst the concerns of the law-abiding were disregarded. Radicals were often quoted while the moderates were more often misquoted. Unproven allegations of police misconduct were screamed in banner headlines whilst the overwhelming evidence of widespread atrocities by the ANC revolutionaries were scarcely whispered. The odd exceptional over-reaction of the police received the full focus of media attention while the ongoing systematic pattern of terrorism by the ANC was ignored.
Even more seriously, vital information that could have enabled overseas viewers or readers to understand the complex situation was left unreported.
Some of the untold story of South Africa includes:
Crime WaveThe SA Institute of Race Relations reported in June that “the reform era has become the bloodiest period in South African history - and 1992 could become even worse”. The SAIRR - reported that 12 867 people had been killed in political violence since September 1984. “If the violence continues at its present levels 2 800 more people could die n political unrest, before the end of the year" was the evaluation of the SAIRR.
However, the staggering increase in political violence almost pales in comparison with the escalation of non political (or “normal”) crime. With about 15 000 murders a year, South Africa has one of the highest murder rates, per capita of the population, in the world. The largest insurer in the country, Santam, reported (11/6/92) that “at least 100 000 cars will be stolen this year” if present trends continue. The official (SAP) police statistics for 1991 noted that the SAP investigated: 23 920 incidents of arson (an increase of 233% from 1990), 92 675 cases of malicious damage to property, 129 626 assaults, 45 103 cases of armed robbery, 260 661 housebreakings, and a mind boggling list of other lawlessness. Comparing the 1991 statistics with 1971 reveals that most categories of crime have increased about 1 000% or more.
Incredibly, amidst this unprecedented explosion of crime and violence, the SA government has begun to restrict the right of law-abiding citizens to obtain or use firearms for self defence. While the SA government bowed to international pressure and released over 57 000 bombers, thieves, rapists, murderers and other criminals, and granted indemnities from prosecution for wanted terrorists and assassins, some law-abiding citizens have been prosecuted for “negligence” because their firearms had been stolen!
Since the suspension of the death penalty (another ANC and UN demand) on 2 February 1990; over 40 000 people have been murdered in S.A.
Revolutionary Priorities of the ANCIn order to achieve the seizure of power in SA the ANC/SACP alliance have identified the following priorities:
For example on the big event of the ANC calender - June 16 “Soweto Day” - while over a million supporters were catered for at 80 rallies, a total of only 80 000 attended all the ANC rallies country wide. In fact 57 rallies had to be cancelled due to lack of local support.
The second phase of the “Mass Action” campaign of the ANC was meant to see hundreds of thousands occupy every government building in the country. The masses never materialised, with numbers as low as 5 turning up. A planned march on Pretoria of 70 000 was cancelled when less then 500 actually arrived.
Phase 3 and 4 which were designed to paralyse South Africa and sweep the government from power similarly fell far short of the published goals. However the crippling loss in wages ($1 00 million a day) during the strike and the rising unemployment which has followed) the destructive ANC disruptions of the economy are fueling a growing groundswell of discontent against them.
Others are pointing out that if the ANC were ever able to implement their stated socialist goals of nationalizations, and redistribution of land and wealth then the devastation of the SA economy would be; complete.
Western Support for Terrorism
What concerns many South Africans is why the bloodstained ANC continues to receive so much diplomatic prestige, foreign funding and media - prominence. Especially when one considers that the president of the ANC, Nelson Mandela, continues to visit, praise and ethusiastically support dictators like Fidel Castro, Saddam Hussein, Col. Gaddaffi, and terrorist leaders like Yassar Arafat. Mandela recently became the first person to receive an honorary doctorate at Teheran University since the 1979 lslamic revolution. After laying a wreath at the Ayatollah Khomeini’s tomb, Mandela declared: “The people offiically will make Iran‘s Islamic revolution a model for their revolutionary moves."
The Christian Heritage of South Africa - Under Attack
In recent years South Africa has sent thousands of missionaries to Asia, Africa, Europe and South America. In some years South Africa has produced more Bibles in more languages than any other country in the world. The Gospel is broadcast from SA by radio in many languages throughout the African continent.
For decades, state schools in South Africa have begun each day with Bible reading and prayer. Evangelical Religious Instruction with the stated aim of: “bringing every child to a personal knowledge of Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour” has been part of the syllabus of public schools. And Creation has been taught in the classrooms. Laws have protected South Africa from the evils of pornography, homosexuality, and abortion. On Sunday trading was curtailed and cinemas have been closed in honour of the Lord’s Day.
Yet all these things are now under attack. As a missionary sending base South Africa is being seriously undermined. South Africa today is being flooded with imported filth at an alarming rate. Seemingly from every side, especially from the mass media, pornography, and abortion are being glamorised, promoted and forced upon us.
Since "softcore" pornography was allowed in February 1990, child abuse has increased by 54% a year. Now, for the first time some cinemas have been allowed to operate on Sundays and sex education is being introduced into many government schools. And pro-abortion advocates are relentlessly bombarding South Africans with pro-choice rhetoric and one sided propaganda for abortion. The spiritual results of these and many similar trends are painfully obvious: the moral and spiritual foundations of SA are being eroded and corrupted.
When considered along with the 30 years of terrorist attacks, international sanctions, boycotts and economic sabotage, these assaults represent an overwhelming threat to the future of Christian civilization in Southern Africa.
Working to Save South Africa
The future of South Africa is in jeopardy. Because of complacency, confusion and cowardice all too many have given in to c’oercion and compromise with the forces of evil. As a result South Africans face the prospects of capitulating to communist terrorism with the inevitable chaos and catastrophe which that would bring. Or returning to God in repentance, rediscovering the Biblical agenda, rebuilding the Biblical walls of our society and resisting the demands for national suicide.
Frontline Fellowship has been in the forefront of working for revival and reformation in South Africa. FF is co-ordinating a network of 26 Bible believing organisations in a United Christian Action to:
So far we have achieved a number of encouraging successes including:
If South Africa is to return to being a pro-western, free nation: where the Word of God is taught in our schools, where the unborn are protected from abortion, where families are protected from pornography and from where missionaries are sent out throughout the African continent then we need to earnestly pray that God will graciously intervene and grant a deep nationwide spirit of repentance. That He will raise up God-honouring leaders who will take a bold stand for righteousness and truth. That He may mercifully bring about a true revival and Biblical reformation, restoring Biblical values to every area of life.
Dr. Peter Hammond
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