A once-promising country has become a failed state. Almost 30 years ago, Nelson Mandela replaced Frederik Willem de Klerk in an election that astonished the world. Both men shared a Nobel Peace Prize for their work ending racial segregation in South Africa. Now both men are dead. In fact, the death of De Klerk on Nov. 11, 2021, prompted many South Africans to look back on their history and wonder what went wrong.
When the newly elected Mandela entered South Africa’s parliamentary chamber on May 10, 1994, he was announced by a bare-chested tribal imbongi shouting tributes to his accomplishments. He told the world, “We enter into a covenant that we shall build the society in which all South Africans, both black and white, will be able to walk tall, without any fear in their hearts, assured of their inalienable right to human dignity—a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world.” Much of the world’s media followed the example of the imbongi and praised Mandela as a moral giant whose strength and sacrifice changed the entire world.
Now a generation has passed. The promise of a peaceful and prosperous South Africa remains hauntingly empty. Instead, rampant corruption has damaged the economy and people’s trust in the government. One in three people looking for work cannot find it. Rolling blackouts have left millions without power. The murder rate is the world’s highest outside of Latin America’s worst drug-producing regions. Rioters and looters plague the nation’s cities, while black terrorists drive white farmers from their land. Black politicians sing racist songs like “Awuleth’ Umshini Wami” (Bring My Machine Gun) and “Dubul’ ibhulu” (Kill the Boer).
Who could have foreseen that things would get so bad? Well, while the world was rejoicing at the triumph of democracy in South Africa, the Philadelphia Trumpet was warning that post-apartheid South Africa would fall into ruin. We had insight into South African politics the rest of the world did not because we base our geopolitical analysis on the sure word of Bible prophecy.
Like Australia, Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand and the United States, South Africa is a unique nation descended from the lost 10 tribes of ancient Israel. Its recorded history began 370 years ago when Dutch navigator Jan van Riebeeck established a small colony on the Cape of Good Hope. Since the summer crops grown by Bantu tribes farther north do not grow at the southern part of the continent, much of the region was unpopulated. The pioneering Dutch were later joined by German and French Huguenot immigrants who came to farm the land.
Like the Pilgrims who settled America, the Afrikaners often compared themselves to the children of Israel. Some might have even understood that they were literally descendants of the biblical patriarch named Israel. In 1590, the French Huguenot magistrate M. le Loyer described an Israelite genealogy for the British people in The Ten Lost Tribes. In 1700, Dutch historian Mattheus Smallegange outlined an Israelite genealogy for the Frisian and Dutch people in The New Chronicles of Zeeland. Whether or not they understood their heritage, it is clear that Afrikaners tried to base their laws on the Bible and put their faith in God for protection.
When the English took control of the Cape in 1806, Afrikaners began trekking into South Africa’s rugged interior. There they met Bantu tribes migrating south from their homeland in what is now Zimbabwe. Many were fleeing the Zulu Empire and the Nguni, who were slaughtering millions in the indigenous communities: Hlubi, Mfengu, Ndebele, Ngwane, Soshangane, Xhosa, Zwangendaba and many smaller tribes.
The Afrikaners sent emissaries to seek peace, but the Zulu king ordered them clubbed to death.
The resulting war with the Zulus motivated the Afrikaners to make a covenant with God. On Dec. 16, 1838, prior to the Battle of Blood River, the Afrikaners promised to build a church and forever honor the anniversary of the battle as a special sabbath if God would save them from slaughter. The battle was joined, and 470 Afrikaners defeated 20,000 Zulu warriors. God had honored their prayers, and the Afrikaners honored their promise. They made December 16 their most important memorial of the year: The Day of the Covenant.
The following 64 years were a rich history of progress and prosperity. Afrikaners formed two Dutch republics: the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. Meanwhile, British prospectors began moving into the interior looking for diamonds, gold and other resources. A series of wars between the British and the Afrikaners eventually culminated with The South Africa Act 1909, which merged the various states in the region into the Union of South Africa.
As a dominion of the British Empire, the Union of South Africa safeguarded trade routes to India and acted as the storehouse of the free world. At its peak, this union accounted for 4 percent of Africa’s landmass, 5 percent of Africa’s population, 20 percent of Africa’s agricultural output, 25 percent of Africa’s gross domestic product, 50 percent of Africa’s electricity and 60 percent of Africa’s industrial production.
By the middle of the 20th century, South Africa was producing vast amounts of antimony, chrome, chromium, diamonds, fluorite, gold, manganese, nickel, platinum, titanium, uranium, vanadium and vermiculite for the British Empire. These minerals and metals help build the dominance of the English-speaking peoples.
But this dominance made South Africa a target for the Soviet Union. The Soviets knew that if they could infiltrate South African politics and seize control of the nation, they could deprive the industrialized West of its crucial supply of minerals. So they established a Communist party in South Africa and went to work.
In the decades after World War i, South Africans increasingly departed from biblical values and moral restraints, as did the peoples of other modern nations of Israel. They adopted a liberal, anything-goes approach. Educators in South Africa began rejecting the idea that laws of morality are eternal and unchanging. As the evolutionary hypothesis took root in the public conscience, people came to believe that what was right in the past may not be right today. Commandments like “Honour thy father and thy mother” and “Thou shalt not commit adultery” began to sound old-fashioned. People abandoned the absolute morality of Moses and Jesus Christ. They embraced the evolving morality of Charles Darwin and Sigmund Freud.
“The ‘New Morality’ world was spawned after the turn of the century,” Herbert W. Armstrong wrote in The Missing Dimension in Sex. “It developed from the embryo stage during World War i. It surged, mostly among teens unnoticed by their parents, on past World War ii. The emergence of television after that war gave the trend great impetus. Acceleration sped the downward plunge. The ‘New Morality’ really surfaced during the ’60s, blossomed into full bloom in the ’70s.”
In South Africa, moral decline created fertile soil for communism. In the 1920s, the South African Communist Party started trying to lure white miners away from the traditional biblical values and toward the atheistic values of communism. After the government banned the Communist Party, many South African Communists abandoned the strategy and instead started seeking converts among South Africa’s black population.
The South African government blocked nonwhites from voting because the majority of the Khoisan and Bantu peoples in the region still practiced the values of their tribal cultures. Granting universal suffrage would blot out what remained of the Judeo-Christian principles that the European settlers of South Africa believed in.
In 1961, South Africa became a republic and replaced Queen Elizabeth ii as their head of state. But the government retained its colonial-era policy of denying blacks the vote while simultaneously pouring money into the economic development of various black national homelands in an attempt to prepare them for independence. French author Paul Giniewski referred to the development of South Africa’s homelands as the most ambitious economic program devised for uplifting a developing people. Yet the industrialization of South Africa drew away millions of unemployed blacks from their tribal lands into major cities looking for employment, impairing this program and exacerbating the cultural clash between blacks and whites.
A new generation of radical leaders mobilized the bitterness of black workers to create a terrorist cell called Umkhonto we Sizwe (“Spear of the Nation”). Its mission was to fight against the government, and toward that end it committed dozens of brutal terrorist attacks.
Nelson Mandela was a terrorist and a member of the South African Communist Party Central Committee. He was eventually arrested for his role in bombing dozens of railways and petrol stations. But his imprisonment did not stop the Communist-inspired violence.
The Soviets and the Cubans supplied money and weapons to other South African terrorists in an attempt to aggravate tensions between blacks and whites. Their strategy was to spark a race war, seize control of the country, and establish a Soviet-led cartel to control 60 percent of the world’s diamonds, 75 percent of the world’s manganese, 80 percent of the world’s gold and 90 percent of the world’s platinum.
The threat of Communist domination was why the South African government thought it more prudent to fund the development of black homelands rather than surrender to the African National Congress (anc).
President F.W. de Klerk shocked the world when he released Mandela from prison in 1990, but African National Congress attacks were becoming so common that many feared race war. After the Soviet Union collapsed, President de Klerk appeased black South Africans by releasing a number of Communist prisoners and called his cabinet together to debate legalizing the anc. Many opposed his plans, but de Klerk legalized all banned political parties, including the Communist Party, and released Mandela unconditionally.
Mandela toured South Africa, giving speeches about peace and reconciliation, but made it clear that the African National Congress would continue its armed struggle if the government continued to withhold the right to vote from the black majority. The government agreed to negotiate and announced elections for April 1994, in which citizens of all races could vote for any political party.
Mandela formed an alliance between the African National Congress, the South African Communist Party and the Congress of South African Trade Unions. These three parties received 63 percent of the vote, and Mandela was sworn in as the first black president in South Africa.
The world rejoiced at the triumph of democracy in South Africa. Both Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Mandela dubbed post-apartheid South Africa as “a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world.”
Mandela filled his key cabinet posts with members of the Communist Party. At the time, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry said, “South Africa is the first of the Anglo-Saxon nations to give away its God-given birthright.”
Rather than remembering the Day of the Covenant, seeking to obey and trust in God, and teaching their people, black South Africans and the world at large about His role in their history, His laws and blessings, Afrikaners just let it all go.
For all their political and financial expenditure, de Klerk’s and previous administrations had not only failed to educate blacks about the biblical values that South Africa’s early European settlers brought with them, but they lost those values themselves. They shamefully surrendered outright. That is why the Trumpet reported in June 1994 that disaster “looms huge on the horizon of South Africa, as godless communism has its day bringing an anc-dominated government to power with the apparent full endorsement of Western society!”
The past three decades have proved this assessment right. South Africa is now a member of the brics alliance, which also includes Brazil, Russia, India and China. Russian efforts to control South Africa’s mineral wealth have largely been successful. Current South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed 16 Communist Party members to his cabinet of 37 ministers. These Communists are now discussing an amendment to the South African Constitution to permit the seizure of white-owned land without compensation. This comes after at least 3,000 white farmers have been killed in a deliberate attempt to drive whites from their land.
Now South Africa stands on the verge of a civil war that could kill or drive out the remaining white population and transform the nation into the world’s next Cuba, Venezuela or Zimbabwe. The first nation built on the anti-white principles of critical race theory is now a failed state and easy prey. It is a warning to the rest of the English-speaking world. If Australia, Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand and the United States continue to reject God’s laws, remain ungrateful for His blessings, drift into more sinfulness, and embrace communism, as South Africa did, they will suffer as South Africa has suffered!
Herbert W. Armstrong explained in The United States and Britain in Prophecy that the British, Dutch and other northwestern Europeans descended from the ancient Israelites, and that the ancestors of the Americans and the British trace back to two grandsons of Israel: Manasseh and Ephraim. Genesis records God giving these descendants of Abraham major, civilization-shaping birthrights of immense wealth and power. This is why the U.S. became the greatest nation in world history and why the British Commonwealth became a great company of nations. This greatness came as a result of Abraham’s faith and obedience and is a tool for God to use for the good of human civilization, not for the American and Commonwealth peoples to squander and surrender. God also promised that if these nations turned away from Him and His law, as their ancient forefathers did, they too would be conquered and enslaved.
This book is why Mr. Flurry knew South Africa would fall apart after de Klerk’s surrender.
The Prophet Ezekiel describes the time of punishment coming on the end-time nations of Israel in grisly detail. “Make a chain: for the land is full of bloody crimes, and the city is full of violence. Wherefore I will bring the worst of the heathen, and they shall possess their houses …” (Ezekiel 7:23-24). The word “heathen” in this passage is not necessarily negative. It comes from the Hebrew word gowy, meaning non-Israelite. But the “worst of the heathen” refers to the type of non-Israelites like the ones killing farmers in South Africa. They have pledged to kill white people, kill their women, kill their children, kill their dogs, and kill their cats. This prophecy says that so many bloody crimes will occur in the end time that they will be like links in a chain—one following right after another. It describes the seizure of people’s homes and war between Israelites and non-Israelites.
This is intense punishment, but it is punishment with a purpose.
God is allowing this chain of violence so that the people of Israel will finally repent and cry out to Him. It is God’s great desire to teach all races and nationalities the way to peace and prosperity. If mankind would only obey God’s commandments, they wouldn’t have to experience such horrific crimes. But the human heart is hard and too proud to admit that it does not know the way to peace, happiness and stability. Tragically, God must allow mankind to learn from their own choices until they finally cry out to Him in repentance.