There are some intriguing similarities between the history of the United States of America and that of South Africa.
Shortly after Portuguese explorer Bartholomew Diaz first landed on the shores of South Africa in 1488, the Spanish explorer Christopher Columbus landed in the Americas in 1492.
From the 1600s onwards both America and South Africa were settled by pilgrims from Holland, France, England, Scotland and Germany seeking religious freedom.
While American pioneers were moving westwards in horse drawn 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, although ours were drawn by oxen. Just as the American pioneers had to cross the Rocky Mountains, so the Voortrekkers crossed the vast Drakensberg Mountains. As the pioneers drew their wagons in a circle to defend their families from 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 also find remarkable similarities between great Christian leaders of our two nations. The President of the South African Republic (Transvaal) Paul Kruger and his contemporary President Teddy Roosevelt of the United States were both far-sighted visionary conservationists who founded national parks. President Steyn of the Orange Free State and US founding father President George Washington were both courageous Christian men of principle.
The Orange Free State general Christiaan De Wet and Virginian heneral Robert E. Lee were both outstanding strategists, staunchly principled men of God, much loved by their soldiers, even in the face of crushing defeat. And both were greatly respected by their enemies. 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 Custer’s last stand were almost duplicated in the Battle of Isandlwana in Zululand. The courageous defence of the Alamo in Texas was also seen in the defence of Rhorkes Drift in Natal. On these, and hundreds of other occasions, the common ancestry, religious convictions and similar conditions of South Africa and America, in the pioneering days, can be seen.
South Africans also fought alongside their American allies in World War I, World War II and Korea. More importantly, South Africans have shared a common Christian heritage and missionary vision.
South Africa contains some of the world’s largest known deposits of gold, platinum, chrome, manganese, vanadium and fluorspar. It also contains substantial deposits of antimony, asbestos, copper, diamonds, iron ore, lead, phosphate, titanium and uranium. Without these strategic minerals Europe and 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 sometimes over 26,000 ships sailing past South Africa each year. More than 30% of all US oil imports, 50% of Western Europe’s oil and 25% of Western Europe’s food supplies travel around the Cape of Good Hope.
The South African Defence Force (SADF) proved itself to be the superpower of Africa. At the 75 th anniversary of the South African Defence Force in 1987, we could declare that the SADF had never been beaten – it had an unbroken record of victory, most recently against the Cubans in Angola. The SADF carried out one of the most successful counter insurgency operations against Soviet backed SWAPO terrorists in South West Africa for 26 years. The SADF blunted the southward advance of Soviet expansionism in Africa and for 15 years faced the best Cuban, Soviet and East German weaponry and personnel in conventional warfare and defeated them every time. Despite international sanctions South Africa’s ARMSCOR developed some of the most highly advanced, battle-tested conventional weaponry that proved itself time and again against the best Soviet weapons and Cuban mechanised divisions in Angola. The victory of the West over Soviet expantionism in the Cold War was in no small measure thanks to South Africa’s military resistance.
At the great Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria, a wall mural recalls the symbolic gift of a Bible from English-speaking 1820 settlers to the departing Voortrekkers and their message that: “God has placed us at the foot of Africa to spread the light of the Gospel of Christ throughout Africa.”
Many South Africans have recognised that we do have a great calling, a great responsibility and are in the midst of a great conflict. As Vladimir Lenin declared: “Whoever controls the tip of Africa controls the world. We want it for world communism.”
To understand the extraordinary campaigns of the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s to force South Africa to surrender to godless Communism we need to remember the insight of the 19 th Century German military strategist Clausewitz: “War is an act of violence to break the enemy’s will…it is not the loss of men, horses and guns, but of order, courage, confidence, cohesion and plan…and it’s principally the moral forces which decide here.”
“Corrupt and Conquer”
A nation can only be as strong as the collective moral and spiritual strength of its individual citizens. South Africans were not only under attack by communist terrorism and internal subversion. Materialism, immorality and selfishness were just as great a threat to the strength and stability of the nation. The ancient maxim: “Corrupt and conquer” was plainly at work in the battle for South Africa. Unbiblical teachings, heresies, liberalism and apathy in many churches were a greater threat to the spiritual strength of the land than all the terrorism and economic warfare.
“Confuse, Divide and Conquer”
“Confuse, divide and conquer.” The enemy aimed to confuse South Africans as to the truth and to undermine our identity as Christian South Africans. For decades South Africa was the target of an unprecedented international media propaganda campaign, economic warfare and revolutionary violence.
Never Beaten - Betrayed
The South African military were never defeated by its enemies. However we were betrayed by our friends. Not only betrayed by our supposed allies in the West, but by our own leaders. We were slandered and sanctioned by those for whom we had sacrificed to serve and assist when they were under attack. We may well have fought for the British, French and American causes in the First and Second World Wars, but when we were attacked, they sided with Soviet supported terrorists, granting vast financial aid to the Marxist revolutionaries who were murdering our people.
The SADF had fought successfully to liberate Abyssinia (Ethiopia) and South Korea – but these nations still joined the OAU and the UN hate campaigns against South Africa.
Betrayed by the National Party
We were not only betrayed by our friends, but by our own government. In the September 1989 elections the National Party platform promised: “no release of Mandela unless he renounces violence”; “no unbanning of the ANC unless they forsake terrorism”; “no negotiations with communists”; “strong law and order”; and “Christian national education.” But, by 2 nd February 1990, the NP had not only abandoned these election promises, but they then moved so far to the left that even the opposition Democratic Party was protesting the catastrophic collapse of law and order allowed by the NP government.
A Trail of Betrayal
One needs to note that the National Party government of South Africa had betrayed Rhodesia in the 1970’s. Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State for the USA, had made a deal with South African Prime Minister B.J. Vorster – that they would allow South Africa to keep South West Africa if South Africa would sacrifice Rhodesia. The NP government under B.J. Vorster betrayed Rhodesia – threatening to cut off petrol and ammunition supplies unless Rhodesia submitted to the British handover plan.
The National Party government also betrayed the anti-communist RENAMO guerillas in Mozambique. When the Marxist Frelimo was in defeat and disarray, and RENAMO was within just a few months of total victory, the SA government ditched RENAMO and embraced Frelimo in the Nkomati Accord of 1984. South African support then helped to prop up the unelected Frelimo dictatorship and prolonged that tragic war in Mozambique.
The NP government betrayed the anti-communist UNITA Freedom Fighters under Jonas Savimbi in Angola. When the Marxist MPLA were at their weakest, and UNITA was on the offensive, the SA government cut support for Unita and withdrew South African troops. This again prolonged the oppression of the Marxist MPLA regime in Angola.
The National Party government betrayed South West Africa. The SADF and SWATF had waged one of the most successful counter insurgency campaigns in history. We had effectively defeated SWAPO when the SA government suddenly handed South West Africa over to the United Nations. Even then, when SWAPO terrorists clearly disqualified themselves from the elections by invading Ovamboland on 1 st April 1989, the SA government limited the SADF response, and then confined the defenders to base, allowing the surviving attackers to continue their intimidation of voters. Despite the gross irregularities and fraud in the election process, South West Africa/Namibia was abandoned into the hands of Marxist revolutionaries who had been responsible for the murders of well over 10,000 civilians.
The National Government then betrayed the people of Walvis Bay without so much as a referendum, South African sovereign territory, the strategic Walvis Bay, was handed over to Namibia. Schools that used to have Bible education found themselves under an education department that made no provision for any Christian curriculum. And Afrikaans schools were abruptly informed that they would now have to teach in English.
The National Party government betrayed the nations of Bophutatswana and Ciskei. Having granted these nations independence in 1977 and 1980, the SA government then gave in to international and ANC pressure to destabalise and then invade these nations, forcibly abolishing their independence and reincorporating these nations without so much as a referendum.
The NP government also betrayed the South African Police and the South African Defence Force. At the same time that the SA government was releasing murderers and granting terrorists indemnity from prosecution, policemen and soldiers were being imprisoned for having done their duty and fighting the terrorist threat. Other South African soldiers were left to rot in prison in Zimbabwe.
Crippling the Military
Numerous high ranking police officers and military leaders were summararily dismissed. Whole units like the Marines, 32 Battallion, 5 Reconnaisance Commando, 31 Battalion and the State President’s Guard were abolished. Major Armscor weapons programmes, deemed essential to our national security, were cancelled. National Service was abolished. The SADF shrunk to a shadow of its former self. And all of this was done when violence was at its highest and the threat was the greatest.
Most seriously of all, the National Party government betrayed the Lord Jesus Christ. The South African Constitution began with the words: “In humble submission to Almighty God who controls the destinies of nations…” Yet the National Party government allowed previously banned pornography, prostitution and gambling to flood into the country, in violation of the law. At the National Peace Accord and CODESA negotiations, National Party officials participated in interfaith prayers led by Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and “Christian” religious leaders. Then NP cabinet ministers even participated in witchcraft ceremonies such as when Roelf Meyer employed witchdoctors to dedicate the new National Party offices in Soweto.
“They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny Him. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for doing anything good.” Titus 1:16
For anyone to describe South Africa’s descent into an orgy of degenerate lawlessness as “the road to democracy” would be hysterically funny if it wasn’t so tragic. Those who claim that the situation would have been worse “if F.W. De Klerk had not made his historic decision” was also a fallacious argument. To carry out reforms and to abolish all racial discrimination (which was what his predecessor President P.W. Botha had been doing) did not require the legalisation of previously banned pornography, blasphemy, prostitution and gambling. Nor did racial equality require the release of tens of thousands of violent criminals, the suspension of the death penalty for murder, the granting of indemnities from prosecution for wanted murderers, and the unrestricted influx of armed revolutionaries into the country.
The National Party government literally opened the flood gates of filth and violence upon a once God-fearing peaceful country. The ANC was a weak, ineffectual, defeated low level threat in 1989. With the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and their Soviet sponsors, the ANC was heading for the trash can of history. By renaging on the September 1989 election promises and platform, the National Party resuscitated the ANC. By lavishing media attention and tax payers money on a mob of Marxist murderers and power hungry thugs they revived and unleashed a monster.
“Their deeds are evil deeds, and acts of violence are in their hands. Their feet rush into sin; they are swift to shed innocent blood. Their thoughts are evil thoughts; ruin and destruction mark their ways. The way of peace they do not know; there is no justice in their paths. They have turned them into crooked paths; no one who walks in them will know peace.”
As South Africa hurtled towards an unstable and violent future, a steady stream of emmigrants left the country. In the largest mass exodus of citizens ever seen in our land, hundreds of thousands gave a vote of no confidence by packing up and moving out. Those who stayed had to fortify their homes with burglar bars, security gates, high walls, razor wire and dogs.
A Prophetic Warning
Before this, in the 1980’s, when South African was still resisting the communist terrorism of the ANC, I wrote an article “Wake Up, South Africans” which 20 years later seems uncannily on target:
“Regularly I hear that South Africa is backward! We are “ten years behind the rest of the world!” Or fifteen, or 25 years. The time gap differs, but the complaint is the same: South Africa is “old fashioned”, “Victorian”, “puritanical”, “out of step with the rest of the world.”
That is where we are today. The future of Christian civilisation in Southern African is in jeopardy. The cumulative effect of decades of terrorist attacks, international sanctions, boycotts, economic sabotage and a relentless media war have undermined the entire social fabric.
A Marxist Fairy Tale
Karl Marx declared that the first battlefield is the rewriting of history. Marx’s disciples have certainly been busy rewriting history and rearranging reality here in South Africa. To those who have unquestionably accepted the Marxist fairytale that: “Once upon a time everyone lived in peace and harmony and democratic tranquility throughout Africa. But, then the nasty, evil western nations began to bring suffering and hardship to Africa through colonialism. And the demonic Boers invented racial discrimination through apartheid. And apartheid was the greatest evil in the history of the world. But then his Excellency, Saint Nelson Mandela brought peace and reconciliation, justice and a non-racial rainbow nation into being. And they all lived happily ever after!”
Politically Incorrect Questions
To those who actually believe this Marxist fairytale one needs to ask some penetrating questions:
1. If apartheid South Africa was so bad, why did millions of black refugees, migrant workers and illegal immigrants flee into South Africa from neighbouring “liberated” black states throughout the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s? (People don’t tend to flee in the direction of oppression. There’s never been any movement of refugees fleeing into communist nations such as Cuba and North Korea. Yet, despite the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall, over 3 million East Germans fled from the “workers paradise” to West Germany. Over 3 million Cubans have fled from Fidel Castro’s “paradise” to the USA). As Margaret Thatcher once observed: “Freedom has its problems, but we’ve never had to build walls to keep our people in.” So the question remains, why did millions of black people vote with their feet, fleeing to white South Africa throughout the heyday of apartheid?
2. And if South Africa was so racist, how was it that most of the South African Police, and many of the volunteer members of the South African Defence Force, were black?
3. If there was no freedom in apartheid South Africa, and no black person had the vote before 1994, how was it that the ANC revolutionaries killed hundreds of black town councillors, mayors and parliamentary candidates? And why did the ANC have to organise so many vicious and violent campaigns against elections in black homelands, and kill so many hundreds of black town councillors and voters in municipal elections?
4. How was it that there were so many political parties amongst every racial group in South Africa when the entire Soviet Union had only one political party?
5. How could it be that there were far more black doctors, lawyers, professional people and black millionaires living in South African than in the rest of Africa combined?
6. If South Africa was as bad as the journalists said, then how was it possible that so many thousands of reporters had the freedom to repeatedly visit, slander and revisit the country? (How many journalists have been free to do that in Burma, the Congo or Zimbabwe?)
7. If there was no freedom in South Africa, then how was it that Archbishop Tutu was free to openly support revolutionaries, mobilise opposition to the government, break the laws of the land, visit Moscow, Maputo, and Harare on a South African passport, and still drive around without fear in his luxury chauffeur driven car, living in a millionaire’s mansion in Bishops Court?
8. How could America be so morally superior to South Africa when South Africa had prayer and Bible teaching in its schools and army bases, laws against pornography, abortion illegal and the blasphemous Last Temptation of Christ banned?
9. Didn’t it seem hypocritical of Britain and America to sanction its longtime ally South Africa, while aiding and trading with despotic Marxist regimes in Russia, China, Romania, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Angola? (It has also been interesting how so many of the same people, who demanded Western sanctions on Rhodesia, have argued against any sanctions being brought to bear against Robert Mugabe’s Marxist regime in Zimbabwe.)
Gone With the Winds of Change
The fact is that, in the 1970s, even under relentless international sanctions, the South African rand was stronger that the US dollar. Even when facing an internationally supported campaign of terrorism, people were safer, with a lower crime rate and lower death toll than today in peacetime.
Even when engaged in a conventional war against Soviet surrogates and Cuban mechanised divisions in Angola, life was more peaceful, and life expectancy higher, than today. Before 1994, South African sportsmen were amongst the very best in the world, South African hospitals led the world in, for example heart transplants, and South African ingenuity and manufacturing in the arms industry were absolutely world class. In the 1980’s the South African Army was rated one of the very best trained militaries in the world. At that time electricity power failures were unknown in the country. This country was efficiently run and children protected from the violence of abortion and the vileness of pornography. And yet, somehow, through mental gymnastics, guilt manipulation and intimidation tactics we are now meant to completely swallow this new Marxist version of reality, condemn our Christian past and embrace the pagan, secular humanist present as something wonderful.
Disinformation and propaganda are essential parts of warfare today. Communist revolutionaries regard the information war as key to winning hearts and minds, or at least creating enough confusion that people don’t know what to do, or who to fight, when they are being attacked.
Understanding the Cold War Context
To understand South African history, we need to understand the African context. The violence, massacres and lawlessness that so often went along with the decolonialisation process led South Africans to naturally attempt to ensure that such things never happened here. One has to understand the horror and shock that was created by the vicious Mau-Mau atrocities in Kenya in the 1950s, and of the horrendous massacres in the Congo by the communist Simba revolutionaries in the 1960s.
The Soviet Threat
The Cold War was an ever-present reality from the 1950s through to the end of the 1980’s. The Soviet Union and Red China really were arming and training Marxist revolutionaries throughout Africa. In 13 communist countries, tens of thousands of Cuban troops were propping up unelected Marxist dictators. There were horrific atrocities taking place in Portuguese East and West Africa (Mozambique and Angola). The communist Frelimo campaign in Mozambique began with the decapitation of a Catholic priest in a church and the desecration of the altar. In Angola the Marxist MPLA began their campaign with a massacre of 43 men, women and children who were literally fed through buzz saws at a timber mill. The murder of whole families in Rhodesia, the landmine campaigns, RPG and mortar attacks on farms, limpit mines in railway stations and at shopping centres, car bombs such as in Church Street, Pretoria, and at the Kalahari Sands Hotel in Windhoek, and ANC terrorist attacks on SASOL, the Caltex oil refineries in Cape Town, and on the Koeberg nuclear power station, all were reminders that we were involved in a hot part of the Cold War. It is dishonest of those reporting on South Africa in those years without recognising the very real war that we were involved in.
The Apartheid Legacy
It is also dishonest to ignore the spiritual dimensions of this conflict. Many attempted to oversimplify the complex conflict as a racial battle. However, in the Referendum of 1983 the majority of white South Africa voters had voted to abolish apartheid. Before Mandela came to power all apartheid legislation had been scrapped. There was no apartheid legislation left for Nelson Mandela to abolish, because it had already been abolished before power was handed over to him. However, Nelson Mandela did bring some apartheid legislation back into the country in the form of Affirmative Action and race classification.
A Clash of Cultures
There was the clash of civilisations with the advanced European Settlers encountering tribes that were still locked into the Iron Age, and in some cases the Stone Age. It is not surprising that there was segregation and separate development when most of the Black people in Southern Africa were at the time walking around mostly naked, with spears, body paint, body piercing, and engaging in witchcraft. However, as Christian missions progressed, and through evangelism and education, more and more Black people came to wear clothes, be literate, worship in church and live more civilized lives, so over the years the segregation was relaxed and ultimately black people came to be given the vote, full citizenship rights, etc.
However, as is the way of all communist revolutionaries worldwide, they always sought to exploit and aggravate grievances to justify violent revolution. In some countries they used economic arguments against free enterprise. In other countries it was class divisions that were exploited. In South Africa it was apartheid.
Ignoring the Wider Context
Of course, every communist revolution needs the zoom lens of selective reporting, and must ignore the wide-angle lens of context. Therefore, the prevalent oppression throughout black Africa had to be ignored. The atrocities of the revolutionaries and Marxist dictatorships were seldom allowed to make the front page. The persecution of churches, crucifying of pastors, massacring of whole congregations, were generally ignored. The widespread corruption and economic collapse of countries which had previously been advanced were not considered stories worth reporting.
Justifying the Villains and Villifying the Victims
However, any attempt by Rhodesia or South Africa to defend themselves against violent Marxist revolutionaries was focused on and distorted in order to villify the victims and justify the aggressors.
A Harvest of Death and Destruction
Those who doubt that the real conflict in South Africa has been a spiritual one need only look at some of the fruit of the ANC government:
Over 700,000 babies have been killed by abortion in South Africa – officially, legally, often with tax payers’ money – since Nelson Mandela legalised abortion on demand, 1 February 1997. As head of the ANC Mandela didn’t even allow his parliamentarians a conscience vote, they were forced to vote for abortion.
Over 800,000 women and children have been raped in the 14 years of ANC rule – while pornography has been legalised. Less than 7% of reported rapes result in convictions.
Over 300,000 people have been murdered in South Africa since 1994, while the ANC has steadfastly refused to consider reinstating the death penalty for murder.
The Ministry of Education has evidenced a consistent hostility to Christianity, insensitivity to the concerns of parents and prejudice against the Bible. Kadar Asmal’s anti-Christian policies and the unworkable Curriculum 2005 Outcome-Based Education dumbed down education and turned government schools into recruitment centres for radical homosexual groups.
Corruption flourished under the ANC to such an extent that the ANC began being referred to on the streets as the “Abortion, Nepotism and Corruption party.”
While state TV, which is supported by compulsory “licences”, broadcast propaganda and pornography, numerous Christian and community radio stations in South Africa were arbitrarily closed down by the state ICASA.
The ANC’s Affirmative Action and blind support for Mugabe’s racist and tyrannical policies in Zimbabwe chased away countless investors and cost the South African economy millions of jobs and billions of rands. The rand under the ANC has plummeted to barely R8 to the US dollar.
Affirmative Action is Racism
In many ways we now have worse race relations today with Affirmative Action than we even had in the past with apartheid. Many white people consistently opposed the discrimination of apartheid and spoke up for blacks that were victims of injustice. However, there have been comparatively few black people who have spoken up against the brutal murder of 2000 white farmers and the massive injustices being perpetrated against the white minority in the name of Affirmative Action today. To many people it would seem that Affirmative Action in SA is nothing other than a cover for corruption on an unprecedented scale. Everywhere else in the world Affirmative Action is on behalf of the minority. Only in South Africa is Affirmative Action against the minority and for the majority!
Political forces are engaging in massive guilt manipulation, rewriting of history, with a selective focus and distortion of reality in order to bludgeon an entire people into compliance and submission to new racial quotas, Black Economic Empowerment job reservation, extra rates and taxes, all of which are a cover for corruption on a massive scale.
Diagnosing the Problem
Crime has become a major growth industry. The educational system has eroded ethical foundations and lowered moral standards along with plummeting academic standards.
In the entertainment industry, superficial, sensational and violent material, often glamorising crime, predominates. The disintegration of many families, absentee parents, and the general absence of discipline have created a vacuum. Violent and immoral films and video DVDs, throbbing, pulsating, noise – masquerading as music – and pornographic magazines are filling the void in the aimlessness and meaninglessness of all too many young people. Many films fall into the “how to” category, giving training on how to be a bank robber, fraudster, car thief, etc. The criminal is often the “hero” in the film. Rap, rock, hip hop, drugs, violent video games and gang are breeding a whole generation of criminals and gangsters.
The selfishness and shortsightedness of this New South Africa is also seen in the litter-strewn, graffiti-vandalised communities. The filth, pollution and destruction of the environment in which all too many children play and grow up in is also reflected in the self-mutilation and body piercing in the growing number of confused young people. Pierced noses and eyebrows, tongue studs and belly rings along with acid rock and rap should be a wake up call. However, incredibly all too many parents seem oblivious to the sullen, self destructive, rebellious attitudes that go along with this kind of body mutilating, mind-rotting and soul destroying subculture.
By legalising gambling, prostitution, pornography and abortion, and by promoting humanistic education in schools and passive acceptance of violent and immoral entertainment in the media, the ANC government has undermined the essential respect for life and property without which society cannot effectively function.
The Only Hope for a Solution
“The Bible is the chief moral cause of all that is good and the best corrective of all that is evil, in human society; the best Book for regulating the temporal concerns of men, and the only Book that can serve as an infallible guide…the principles of genuine liberty, and of wise laws and administrations, are to be drawn from the Bible and sustained by its authority. The man therefore, who weakens or destroys the Divine authority of that Book, may be accessory to all the public disorders which society is doomed to suffer…” Noah Webster.
Until South Africa applies Biblical principles in economics, education, entertainment, in the judiciary, and in Parliament, we cannot expect to win the war against crime. To reverse the self-destruction and national suicide of ANC government policies, we need to get back to the Bible and to return to God in repentance, rediscover the Biblical agenda and restore Biblical principles into every area of personal and community life.
“If My people who are called by My Name will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sins and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14