With issues ever-clearer, the saints and villains starkly etched, and strong voices of both reason and rage emerging from the smoke of its pre-election battles, South Africans are geared-up to head to the polls tomorrow, Wednesday May 7, for their country’s fifth general election since the end of the apartheid era in 1994. For many this shows clearly that South Africa’s rulers do not have God’s vote; and for some, Nelson Mandela is the one who is accountable.
Though not yet clear whether the electorate will stick to its guns and deliver the ruling party a much-vaunted bloody nose, many South African expatriates, urged on by concerned friends and relatives using on social media platforms, swarmed to polling stations round the world last week to grow significant queues in London, Canberra and Dubai.
In a country deeply disenchanted with the ruling party that is being run by a state president who many feel should be behind bars, tomorrow’s election is widely regarded as the most significant since the dominant African National Congress (ANC) party came to power under Nelson Mandela 20 years ago. Many voters see it as a last chance for the country to prove itself a thinking democracy and not just another one-party African state.
For those who have seen or heard of Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom, but do not know the background of this Southern African powerhouse, the country can be viewed as a microcosm of the U.S. when it comes to history and development over the past approximately 350 years. Its white voters, at least, are completely at home with American marketing, music and movies while even its sprinkling of gen-u-ine rednecks exude a taste for firearms, V8 muscle cars, Harley-Davidsons, boomboxes and Tennessee whiskey that many a Southern boy would be proud of.
Slavery, albeit limited, was abolished in South Africa before the U.S. got round to it, but the country’s history of white-on-white war against British colonial expansion, its pioneer-attracting gold and diamonds, wars with the “natives” and the long struggle of its majority black populace for self-identity in a Western-influenced culture have many parallels in the U.S.
If asked, the vast majority of South Africans will claim to be of the Christian faith. But the current government, in spite of its 69.5 percent majority, has much to answer to God for if Reverend Peter Hammond (above) of Africa Christian Action is to be heard. This in itself might make some consider that South Africa’s rulers do not have God’s vote, and never will. Furthermore, many will agree that Nelson Mandela is indeed accountable.
The straight-shooting Reverend Hammond became widely known via YouTube for his controversial hour-long interview with former president Nelson Mandela (featured below), whom Hammond held to account for, among other things, legalizing abortion. Although their meeting ended seemingly amicably, Hammond later said his ministry found itself under close scrutiny from South African Revenue Services (SARS) for many years.
In his latest newsletter, under the title Over Five Million Reasons why I will not be Voting for the ruling African national Congress (ANC), Hammond claims more than 1,2 million babies have been killed by abortion in S.A., legally and often with taxpayers’ money, since the ANC legalised abortion-on-demand on February 1, 1997 – a period of 17 years.
According to Hammond, more than 500,000 people have been murdered in S.A. since 1994 (20 years) – under the ANC government – which has steadfastly refused the death penalty. Interestingly, statistics furnished by South Africa’s Human Rights Commission and submitted to its post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission, state that the total number of blacks killed in the apartheid years between 1948 and the election in 1994 (46 years) was 21,000.
Furthermore, Hammond has alleged that more than one million women and children have been raped in the 20 years of ANC rule – and that is just the reported rapes, of which only seven percent resulted in convictions. Pornography has been legalised. He reports that the ANC’s Affirmative Action, Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) and its blind support for despotic Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe has chased away investors and has cost the S.A. economy millions of jobs. According to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the net worth of South Africa shrunk by 30 percent during the first 10 years of ANC rule while the rand has plummeted from R2 to the US dollar to more than R10 to the dollar.
Again, pulling no punches, Hammond goes on to state that “rates and taxes are higher and government services lower,” while “corruption has flourished under the ANC to such an extent that the party is being referred to in the streets as the Abortion, Nepotism and Corruption party.”
It is a known fact that thousands of white work-seeking South Africans, along with many blacks, have left South Africa to start a new life in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UAE and a number of European countries, mostly the United Kingdom.
Almost every family in South Africa has a tale to tell about tragic circumstances arising from crime, and most S.A. families are split up across the globe – to the point that more than 300 queued up to vote in distant Hong Kong on Wednesday. The country has 11 official languages though business is conducted in English. But when it comes to South Africa’s rulers, there is no guarantee in terms of what voters will do. After all, they do not have God’s guaranteed vote.
Commentary by Keith Allen