The Terrible Violence Continues
Meanwhile, the hideous violence racking South Africa continued. From May 15 to 30, 1992, the township of Sharpeville erupted. Winnie Mandela came to the township and told the ANC people to form “street committees”, and that soon it would be time to fight. Shortly after this, an Inkatha man was burnt to death by necklacing. ANC “comrades” went from house to house, insisting that all young men had to join them. People were shot, necklaced, etc. One man’s burnt body was placed on top of a chimney, as a warning to all not to oppose the ANC. Even children attacked the police and Inkatha members, saying, “If we find you in the township after 6.00 p.m., we’ll kill you.” Where were the strong words of condemnation from Mandela, the ANC’s head? There was just silence.
In June 1992 the ANC, declaring that it would render South Africa ungovernable, launched a “mass action” campaign to topple the government, involving marches, sit-ins, strikes, etc. It was called “Operation Exit”. On June 2 a massive hospital strike was launched, affecting many hospitals. Workers were intimidated and even killed.
According to SA’s law and order minister, between February 2, 1990 and May 25, 1992, over 3000 attacks against policemen had been initiated by the ANC; and several hundred ANC members had been arrested for possession of unlicensed firearms.
During the first half of 1992, 1181 people were killed in 4489 incidents of political violence, 109 policemen were killed, and 23 people were necklaced.
This was the ANC of the supposedly peace-loving, gentle, moderate, decent Nelson Mandela!
Another Veiled Threat by Mandela Against Whites
On May 31, 1992, Mandela said in a speech that whites could become targets of angry blacks in spreading violence. And he added, “You are going to see mass action on a scale you have never seen before.” By saying this, he was implicitly encouraging blacks to attack whites.
Mandela’s Interfaith Approach to Religion
Nelson Mandela, committed Communist, gave an interview in 1992 in which he spoke of his own attitude towards religion. Although he said he was “not particularly religious or spiritual”, he also declared, “I am not an atheist. Definitely not.” Indeed, for Communism to succeed in Africa, it had to be a form of religious Communism; and liberation theology was the ideal answer to this Communist dilemma. Mandela had obviously drunk quite deeply of this merger of Communism with religion. He spoke with affection of an Anglican prison chaplain named Hughes, whom he met while in prison, of André Schafer of the NG Kerk in Afrika (Dutch Reformed), and of Theo Kotze, Methodist chaplain. He said that he had enjoyed the ecumenical approach of the chaplains, who did not ask which church or religion people belonged to. And he said, “I never missed a service and often read the Scripture lessons.” No doubt such statements were designed to reassure religious people that he was a religious man; and they probably did. But true Christians would not be fooled by such words. They know that attending services, and reading the Scriptures, do not prove one is a Christian.
He also enjoyed the visits of a Muslim Imam, with whom he often spoke at length. He was clearly impressed with Islam.
When at Pollsmoor Prison, it was a source of disappointment to him that only the Methodist chaplain was allowed to visit him, because he was a member of the Methodist denomination (and said during the interview that he still was). He became friends with his chaplain, Dudley Moore, and regularly received the Methodist sacrament of communion. It tells us much about this denomination claiming to be Christian, that it could have a convicted Communist guerrilla on its membership rolls, and that it could permit him to receive the ordinance! Mandela said of the communion service: “The sacrament gave me a sense of inner quiet and calm. I used to come away from these services feeling a new person.” A new person he might have felt, but a “new creature” in Christ he was not (2 Cor.5: 17).
On December 14, addressing the “Free Ethiopian Church of Southern Africa”, Mandela praised the contribution of what he called “the broad Ecumenical Movement in South Africa and internationally” for its “unparalleled” struggle against the “heresy of apartheid”. He then outlined what the “Church” should be doing in SA (according to the revolutionaries). He said it “has no option but to join other agents of change and transformation”. Note the words, no option. This was an indication that the only type of “church” the ANC recognised was one that aided and abetted the revolution. It was clearly in favour of those religious groups that formed part of the “broad Ecumenical Movement” that supported the revolution, but of no others. In this light we must interpret another sentence of his on that occasion: “In the ANC we guarantee both the freedom of religion and the independence of the church.” As far as the ANC was concerned, freedom of religion should only be extended to those religious institutions that joined the revolutionaries in their so-called “struggle”.