January/ February/ March 2014


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January/February/March 2014
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Dear Friends,

In February 2014, Mvumeleni Jezile was sentenced in the Wynberg Regional Court on three counts of rape, human trafficking and assault.  In the words of the magistrate, a 14-year old girl had found herself in “modern-day slavery” when she was sold for R8000 and forced to marry the 32-year old Jezile who held her captive and beat her.  The culprit, however, was unrepentant, because as far as he was concerned, all he had done was to practise “Ukuthwala” (carry away), an ancient custom of the Nguni (in his case Xhosa) people.

Sadly, this custom is facilitated by the victims’ families.  In  a similar case, a girl named Nosicelo Matiwana was forced to marry a 39-year-old man.  She said: “My stepmom sold me for two cows and R2000.  I was doing Standard 10 (Grade 12) at boarding school in Cofimvaba when a group of men from my home village in Tsomo came and told me my father had died.  They said they had been sent to come and get me.” -  They had then taken her to a house where her school uniform was removed and she was ordered to don bridal wear.  A woman (whom she later found to be her mother-in-law) told her she was now a wife.  As a new bride she had to fetch water from the river, cook, clean and bear children.  When she had a disabled child, “my husband’s family cursed me.  My husband rejected me and my child.” 1)

An investigation carried out by the Commission on Gender Equality has found that most of the ukuthwala marriages had occurred in the Eastern Cape and in KwaZulu-Natal.  The Commission’s Taryn Powys said:  “Today, young girls aged 13 or 14, and sometimes as young as nine, are being kidnapped on their way to school to be married to men who are in their 40s and 50s and polygamists.”

Child slaves in South Africa
Ancient customs are not the only means of selling children.  In an article entitled “Freeing the Enslaved,” Joy Magazine said: “It is estimated that about 30 000 children are being prostituted in South Africa.  Half of these children are younger than fourteen years old.  Children as young as four are prostituted.  There are up to 10 000 child prostitutes in Johannesburg.  The Eastern Cape, Limpopo and Mpumalanga are the main ‘recruitment areas’ for victims of human trafficking.” 2)  

Bloemfontein is said to be one of the largest local ports of syndicates who traffic children for sex and drug trading.  According to SAPSAC, a body investigating child abuse, girls in South Africa are sold for between R2500 and R12000.  Children as young as ten are recruited and abused.  These children then earn between R1500 and R5000 per day for their ‘handlers.’ Children who disobey are punished with extreme physical abuse, denial of drugs and food, and even death. 3)  SAPSAC and other organisations have pleaded with the Government to enforce measures to protect children.

The Bible tells us that “children are a heritage of the LORD,” (Psalm 127) that they should be loved and brought up in “the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”  (Ephesians 6:4).  They have a Saviour who loves them, for Jesus said:  “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:14; Mark 10:14; Luke 18:16) 

Fetish Slavery
Child slavery is so widespread in Africa that the United Nations Organisation, through their International Office of Migration, is trying to end it, especially in the West African countries.  Children as young as eight and nine labour on coffee plantations of the Ivory Coast.  In Ghana, parents or siblings, claiming poverty, sell their own kin.  “Not long ago,” wrote Baffuor Gyau Anane in 2003, “the crew of a ship moored on the coast of a West African country was detained when it was found out that child slaves were the ship’s cargo.  The kids had been sold into slavery by their own parents.”  Then he asked:  “How many Scandinavian parents will sell their own children into slavery because they have no money to feed them?”  And remembering the slave trade to the Americas which was outlawed by the British in the 19th century, he added:  “Africans collaborated to send their own brothers and sisters into slavery in the New World." 4)  

Along the old slave trade routes in West Africa a child can be purchased for $20-$70 to be sold in Nigeria and Gabon for $350. 5)  Ghana, Togo and Benin also practise a religious slavery called Trokosi.  Young virgin girls, ‘living sacrifices,’ are given to fetish shrine priests as an atonement for the misdeeds of a family member, or as a payment for benefits received. 6)

Abduction, kidnapping, rape and assault are part of all slavery practices.  In South Africa a child goes missing every six hours – a total of 1460 children a year.  But trafficking of children is not confined to Africa.  It is a global problem.  According to UNICEF and World Concern an estimated 1.2 million children are being trafficked every year. 7)

“What is Man?”
What is man, asks the Psalmist (Ps. 8), that God is mindful of him?  What is a child that He should care for him?  A child is a living soul, made in the image of God, meant to live in a loving family which trusts and obeys the Lord Jesus Christ.  But today’s child comes into a hostile world.  Even before he is born his life is threatened.  Mother Teresa clearly states what this means, saying:  “A child is a gift of God…  The greatest destroyer of peace is abortion, because if a mother can kill her own child, what is left for me to kill you and you to kill me?  There is nothing in between.”  

The rejection of Christianity and resurgence of pagan worldviews and customs has had a disastrous effect on children.  Even the annual 16 days of activism for no violence against women and children have not improved their situation.

It is surprising and encouraging to know that Vladimir Putin, the President of the Russian Federation, strongly deplores the moral decline of the West.  Unlike other rulers, he does not accept deviant sexual orientations which make possible the exploitation and enslavement of children.  Rather, he speaks up in their defence and denounces all moves toward the legalisation of paedophilia.  When challenged by militant homosexual groups prior to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, he said:  “We do not have a ban on non-traditional sexual relationships. We have a ban on the propaganda of homosexuality and paedophilia. I want to underline this.  Propaganda among children.  Leave the children alone.” 8)

This is what every parent and every government should be saying:  “LEAVE THE CHILDREN ALONE.”

May God call zealous men and women as missionaries and rulers to re-establish Biblical Truth and Protestant Law.  May He raise men of vision and stature such as Dr David Livingstone who earnestly prayed and laboured for “this poor long downtrodden Africa.”  Even before the days of civilised law, he had said: “We prepare the way for future missionaries.  May they not forget the pioneers who worked in the thick gloom with few rays to cheer, except such as flow from faith in God’s promises!  We work for a glorious future which we are not destined to see.  We are only morning-stars shining in the dark, but the glorious morn will break.” May today’s Church and today’s governments reclaim the protective Law which earlier Christians fought for, and may they at last free Africa from the scourge of slavery.  9)                                                                                                                     
May God bless you richly,
     D. Scarborough.
1.       iOLnews, 14.02.2014: Man jailed for marrying, raping girl, 14; also Mike Smith Political Commentary, Cultural separation is the cure for discrimination, 7.2.2014.
2.       Joy Magazine, Volume 22, issue 07, ‘Freeing the Enslaved,’ by Cher Murphy.  Source: World Hope South Africa, schools curriculum.
3.       News24, 10 000 child prostitutes in Jhb. Alet Rademeyer and Philip de Bruin, 3.6.2009
4.       Modern Ghana, Parents selling their own children, Baffuor Gyau Anane, 17.04.2003.
5.       Child Slavery, Wikipedia.
6.       Ritual Servitude, Wikipedia.
7.       South African Police Services Missing Persons Bureau: Missing Children South Africa, Internet.
8.       The Guardian, Vladimir Putin: gay people at Winter Olympics must ‘leave children alone.’ 17.1.2014.
9.       Iain H Murray, the Puritan Hope, p. 182.

A Brief History of Calvinistic Afrikanerdom from 1652-1980

By Rev Prof Dr Francis Nigel Lee, LLB, ThD, PhD, STD, DMin, DEd.*

In view of the decades-long defamation of the Christian Afrikaners (which needs to be countered) we excerpt from 
Dr Lee’s lectures given at the Geneva Divinity School in Texas during 1980.


Afrikaner Education, Art, Race Relations and Economics

The real turning point was 1948.  Then the National Party of Dr Malan gained the victory at the polls.  The very next week the Bible was being read even in the English-language Public Schools throughout the land – which had not been done before.  I remember it vividly, seeing that I was about fourteen or fifteen years of age at the time.  Soon the Catalogues of the South African Universities started offering majors in Biblical Studies.  The Bible was being taught for credit in the Public Schools from kindergarten to Master’s level. A determined effort was being made to rethink the curriculum even in areas such as history, geography and mathematics, and so to restructure it more and more in terms of the Christian life and world view.  Powerful Calvinist educational organisations were working at the national level to infiltrate the whole of culture, such as COVSA (the Calvinist Teachers’ Association of South Africa); VCHO (the Association for Christian Higher Education); and SAVCW (the South Africa Association for the Promotion of Christian Scholarship).

In 1961 the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa was formally adopted after the Republican Referendum.  If my memory serves me well, the Preamble runs roughly as follows: “In humble acknowledgement of Almighty God Who has assembled our ancestors from a variety of countries, Who has led us through many perils, Who has maintained us in this land in a remarkable way; we the people hereby establish the Republic of South Africa.  The educational system of this country shall be Christian.”

The most important Calvinist educationalists in South Africa were Prof Dr J Chris Coetzee and Prof Hennie Bingle of the University of Ptochefstroom, Dr MT van Loggerenberg of the Orange Free State University, Prof Dr Henry Stone of the Transvaal, and Prof Dr Piet Heiberg of the University of the North near Pietersberg.  In 1975 the University of Potchefstroom for Christian Higher Education convened and hosted the world’s first International Conference of Calvinistic Higher Academicians, attended by delegates from 19 countries.

Products of Christian Education
You are all aware, of course, that South Africa was the world’s first country to transplant the human heart.  In many other areas too, there have been world breakthroughs in the sciences.  South Africa was the only country in the world that mastered the technique of producing uranium very cheaply.  At the time, there were American spies in South Africa, trying to learn the secret of this production of enriched uranium.  And of course, South Africa is also the world’s leader, as you know, in turning coal into gasoline.  There are three or four huge plants, each stretching for acres, involved in doing just this - even training American specialists.  Of all the Faculties of Atomic Energy the very best were chaired not just by Christians but by dedicated Calvinists.  Such include the son of Prof Hendrik Stoker, Dr Louw Alberts, Dr AJA Roux and others.  One could go on to say something about gold-mining technology.  South Africa has the deepest and most specialised mines in the world.  There are also advanced ventilation techniques and fast-drill techniques, because the gold is deep and inaccessible.

Afrikaans is a very interesting language.  It is based upon seventeenth century Southern Dutch, mixed with Western German, with strong admixtures from the French Huguenots, from Scandinavians, and (far more recently) from English, together with minimal traces of words derived from contacts with non-Whites in Africa (and to a lesser extent from Indonesia).  Afrikaans is the only Germanic language in the world to have developed outside of Europe.  Among the giants of Afrikaans literature are Totius and DF Malherbe, WEG Louw and NP van Wyk Louw, together with C Louis Leipoldt and Eugene M Marais.

Concerning the plastic and visual arts, the Afrikaners have been rather sternly Calvinistic.  For many decades they went into “Still Art”, painting things like fruit in a bowl and especially the wide open spaces in the rocky mountains of the uninhabited areas of the country.  There were great painters like Pierneef of the more classical modern school.

Race Relations
I suppose I need to say something about race relations, which seem to be a most interesting aspect to non-South-Africans.  In Genesis 1:28, South Africans understand the Bible to be teaching that God told Adam, the forefather of the human race, to be fruitful and to multiply and to fill the earth.  If he had done this without sinning, some of Adam’s descendants would have gone and settled in Europe; others in Africa; others in Asia; others in North and South America and finally, yet others in Australia. The various different races of man would then have come into being – harmoniously.

Race is not regarded in South Africa by Calvinists as being a consequence of sin or of the curse.  It is regarded as being an intensification of the genes and the genetic possibilities and combinations which would have arisen even had man never fallen into sin.  By means of selective breeding, as people lived in different parts of the world, they would have bred only with their own kind.  So a White South African Calvinist would agree that Black is beautiful, and that White is beautiful too.  For all colours are made by God!

At the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11) God Himself split the human race that wanted to hang together and to build the first “United Nations Organisation” skyscraper while denying that God was relevant.  As the text tells us: “Let us build a tower and a city, lest we be scattered over the face of the earth!”  But God purposed to scatter them. He came down and twisted their tongues.  Pentecost, far from being a return to Babel, is a mighty push forward of the cultures of the world, toward their ultimate goal prior to Christ’s second coming and especially on the new earth thereafter. (Revelation 21:24-26).  Then the nations of the saved shall bring honour and glory into the city of God on the new earth, in terms of Christ’s ‘Great Commission.’

No African Blacks were ever enslaved.  Only Indonesian slaves were imported by the Dutch.  Indeed, no Blacks were even encountered by the Whites until 1780.  In 1930 political legislation was launched to increase the separation of the cultures.  In 1961 the Republic of South Africa was re-established.  The Black-governed areas of the country – the Bantustans, were developed towards complete political autonomy.  These autonomous states advanced quite a distance toward Christian maturity, with the prognosis of one day forming the confederation of South Africa.

A last word or two about the economic situation in South Africa.  From 1658 onwards the wealth which was developed was chiefly agricultural.  From 1700 to 1800 we find the development, on a small scale, of local commerce in South Africa.  But especially from 1860 onward, with the discovery of first diamonds and then gold, huge wealth began to develop in South Africa.  From 1900 to 1935, after the Anglo Boer War, the White South Africans were defeated and economically ruined.  A massive amount of them became ‘poor Whites’, but then there was the establishment of the economic rehabilitation schemes such as Dr John Kestell’s Reddingsdaadsbond.  There are now only a handful of countries in the whole world that produce enough food to feed themselves and to export to others.  Among them (fascinatingly) are the two desert countries, Australia and South Africa.  I think there is a direct relationship between historic Calvinism and the ability to produce.  South Africa is also a mineralogical power, perhaps the most supreme mineralogical power in the world.  I am not referring so much to gold, diamonds and platinum, but to those rare metals which are absolutely essential for the manufacture of steel – to chrome, cobalt, antimony, vanadium, molybdenum, manganese and other vital ingredients.  Some of the biggest deposits of iron in the whole world are in South Africa.  American steel kings in Pittsburgh and elsewhere have said that South Africa can survive without the United States but that the US will self-destruct without South Africa.

*  Dr Lee was Chairman of the Department of Systematic Theology & Church History at the Queensland Presbyterian Theological Hall, Brisbane, Australia.  He died at the end of 2011.  

To be continued….

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