“Christian bias on calendar” – The Witness

On Monday June 11, 2012 an article appeared in our local newspaper The Witness under the heading “PUBLIC INQUIRY LAUNCHED: Complaints over Christian bias on calendar – New look at public holidays” (by Philda Essop).

In the report the following statements appeared, quote:

“In a press statement issued last week the commission said a number of complaints and requests “have been received about the fact that public holidays recognise only Christianity and discriminate unfairly against the holidays of other faiths.”

“Afrikaans Handelsinstituut CEO Christo Van der Rheede said on inquiry yesterday that South Africa has too many holidays.

“”Holidays have a negative impact on productivity and economic growth. If we carry on like this, we run the risk of no longer being regarded as a productive country.” …

“I know that companies make internal arrangements with their staff during Jewish and Muslim festivals. Two Christian holidays, Good Friday and Christmas, are important, but some of the Christian holidays can be abolished,” said Van der Rheede, who was speaking in a personal capacity.”

There are three issues that need to be addressed and the record must be set straight. The press is a powerful media, that needs to be fair and should give honest reports, even exposing all corruption, fraud and lies, so we do need the freedom to report and know what is going on locally and internationally, but the press can also be misleading, corrupt and keep people uninformed and in bondage in their sin.

Firstly, whilst the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, No. 108 of 1996 respects and grants freedom of religion, and the choice of affiliation to all religions or none at all, God does not share the same view of man by respecting and granting a freedom to worship Him as they please through various religious practices. Jehovah, God Almighty has revealed Himself as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob (Israel) (see Exodus 4:5) and He gives commandment in His First (v.3) and Second (vv.4-6) Commandments to His created beings that:

3Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. ~ Exodus 20:3-6

Although what might be interpreted as a bias toward Christian public holidays, there is no problem with this in that the God who created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them, the God who reveals Himself in Isaiah 33:22 –

22For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.

He is the same God that is the Saviour of the world “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8) and He is the God who His disciples followed, “… And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch” (Acts 11:26).

Therefore, there is no discrimination against other faiths. In man’s wicked and evil understanding and his idolatry against the one true God of Creation Jesus Christ, who has always been from eternity past to eternity future:

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2The same was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. ~ John 1:1-5

7For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. ~ 1 John 5:7

8I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. ~ Revelation 1:8, Jesus Christ

12And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 13I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. ~ Revelation 22:12, 13, Jesus Christ

The problem here is not whether there is a bias of Christian public holidays against other faiths, but rather other religious faiths have turned from their Creator God and have blasphemed Him by worshipping false gods. The God who created you is Lord of you, whether you believe it or not!

Secondly, Mr Van der Rheede does not show wisdom at all with his statements, “Holidays have a negative impact on productivity and economic growth. If we carry on like this, we run the risk of no longer being regarded as a productive country.” The reason why this country is not blessed is that the crime and corruption by politicians and society is a result of following their wicked hearts and turning from their Creator, God Almighty. Holidays do not impact negatively on productivity and economic growth. Days do not control the markets, men do! If days control productivity then we have a real problem on our hands for we have too many weekend days – Saturdays and Sundays (104 per annum)! This is folly and shows the devoid of understanding of learned men. True wisdom comes from:

10The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. ~ Psalm 111:10

The problems that South Africa experiences with the lack of productivity, a ridiculously poor currency, inflated prices of petrol and groceries is as a direct result of mismanagement in government and ineffectual parties appointed to key positions that require an honest work ethic, no wonder international companies do not want to invest in a country where there is nepotism, fraud, corruption, stealing, lying and embezzlement of state and public funds, and in an environment where workers are given carte blanche to strike at any opportunity where greed for money dictates. The ‘downing-of-tools’ and striking bring cash flow and productivity problems. No-one works as unto the Lord as the Bible dictates:

3Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established. ~ Proverbs 16:3

And we are warned in Scripture that:

17The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. ~ Psalm 9:17

11God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. ~ Psalm 7:11

26He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered. 27He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse. ~ Proverbs 28:26, 27

2When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn. ~ Proverbs 29:2

South Africa truly is mourning because the wicked beareth rule. Put religious public holidays aside for a moment and let us address “public holidays” that keep heroes of the past, dead and alive, continually being worshipped and glorified. This is idolatry and God says all idolaters will end up in Hell. Citizens of South Africa are continually being brainwashed into remembering the past which keeps them under bondage under a so-called democracy. As long as people are remembering the past, like June 16, 1976 – where were you on that day? – and having past events dramatized every year and every other occasion using the apartheid-card, there will be no healing and true forgiveness. Our Lord Jesus Christ says:

14For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. ~ Matthew 6:14, 15

This is not a democracy; this is socialism / communism disguised as democracy! Citizens are not free; they are slaves to another man-made system. And they also are slaves to their sin. This country needs a Theocracy. God tells us that if we want to be free then we need to be obedient to His Word:

31b… If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. ~ John 8:31b, 32

36If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. ~ John 8:36

Jesus Christ said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). What God is saying is that there is no other way, no other truth, and no other life besides Him, as it is written:

19And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish. 20As the nations which the LORD destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the LORD your God. ~ Deuteronomy 8:19, 20

Man is not in control of anything. God controls all things and even destroys nations that turn from Him. South Africa, you are warned. God will be glorified in your destruction. Just because a religion calls on “God”, it does not mean it is the True God of Creation. And that goes for professing Christians, too! Joining with other faiths or following schism doctrines in denominations and cults does not make you true believers in your worship of God Almighty.

Thirdly, dealing with the “two Christian holidays, Good Friday and Christmas,” do you not know that these days are man-made and pagan in origin? Have you never read the Holy Word of God, the Bible, properly and received revelation from the Holy Spirit, God Almighty? This world is duped into believing ‘a lot of stuff’, but sadly God’s people are perishing for lack of knowledge. True believers, born-again (John 3:3) children of God are commanded to worship God in spirit and truth:

24God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. ~ John 4:24

Our Christian faith does not rest on whether a public day is given during a year or not. We do not need a day to be set aside by man to worship God. But then again, even if a “Christian day” had to be taken away, how many other faiths who do not worship our Lord Jesus Christ enjoys the benefit of taking the holidays set aside for the Christians? Should they not remain at work during those times? It shows the hypocrisy of those faiths! Maybe you need to read the Bible first and only then, I would suggest reading:

The Birth, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ

It is also not understood which “some of the Christian holidays can be abolished” is referred to by Mr Van der Rheede. Here are the South African “public holidays” which total twelve days (as it appears in 2012):

 1 January  New Year’s Day
 21 March  Human Rights Day
 6 April  Good Friday
 9 April  Family Day
 27 April  Freedom Day
 1 May  Workers’ Day
 16 June  Youth Day
 9 August  National Women’s Day
 24 September  Heritage Day
 16 December  Day of the Vow / Day of Reconciliation
 25 December  Christmas Day
 26 December  Day of Goodwill

A break down of category of days shows the following revealing statistics:

 Public Holidays (12 days)

12/365

3.29%

 Government Instituted (10 days)

10/365

2.74%

 “Christian” Holidays (3 days)

3/365

0.82%

 Includes Day of the Vow, Dec. 16
 Weekends (104 days)

104/365

28.49%

 Striking days (average of 20 days p.a.)

20/365

5.48%

 This is a conservative estimate

One can see where the problems lay from a man’s perspective. From God’s perspective, the biggest problem idolaters have is that on the Day of Judgment when God will hold His Court, all unrepentant sinners will receive a just reward, equitable for their sins against their Creator God and be sent to Hell for all eternity. If guilty, you will receive a payment for the wages of sin is death. The only way that you can escape God’s anger and burning wrath against you is to flee to the Son of God, Jesus Christ the Righteous. South Africa, and any other national reading this, you are called to Repentance – Repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21). That is your only hope!

20Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. 21Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. 22Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. 23I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. 24Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. ~ Isaiah 45:20-24

Glorify thyself O Heavenly Father,

SOLI DEO GLORIA

________________________

Copied by e-mail to the following:

A request was made in The Witness newspaper to submit submissions by phoning the Commission on 011 537 7600.

Chairperson@crlcommission.org.za

ceo@crlcommission.org.za

info@crlcommission.org.za

Sunday Times Newspaper

Sunday Tribune Newspaper

The Witness Newspaper

AfriForum

16th December The Day of The Vow

This heart gripping piece of history about The Battle of Blood River as related by Deirdre Fields must be told to the Aryans of the world, as at this moment again we are faced by overwhelming odds:

 

The Battle of Blood River

It Was Boer versus Zulu in a Life & Death Struggle For the Survival of the ‘White Africans’

By Deirdre Fields — MP3

The 16th of December 2008 marked the 170th anniversary of the Battle of Blood River, an event that lies at the heart of Afrikaner nationalism. It is a story of courage, determination, sacrifice, suffering and of undaunted faith in God. It even has mystical aspects. But it is a battle that could have spelled the fate of the Boer nation—perhaps even should have been their end—but miraculously was not. It enabled an entire saga of the whites of South Africa to unfold. Here, then, is the remarkable saga of the Battle of Blood River.

The Boers climbed “Execution Hill” (Hlomo Amabutu) in the hot, subtropical, Natal sun; the stench of rotting flesh filled their nostrils. This had been the Zulu King Dingaan’s execution site—and many had been the executions he had ordered. Thousands had found their tortured, final resting place here. Mostly, executions were conducted with the aid of a sangoma or witchdoctor, who would conduct “smelling out” ceremonies, during which he would claim to sniff out those people who were evil, wizards, or plotting some mischief against the chief.

Sometimes he would “smell out” hundreds at a time. Then they would be taken to Hlomo Amabutu to be executed, their bodies left for the vultures (which Dingaan affectionately referred to as his “children”) to feed upon. Holding their noses, the Boers picked their way over countless bones and bodies. Vultures rose to the air reluctantly, squawking their protest, their stomachs distended—with rotting human flesh.

At last, the Boers recognized the remains of the bodies of the white men: Piet Retief and his party, whom Dingaan had murdered treacherously and cruelly.

The Zulus had held Retief and forced him to watch, as one by one, his comrades, and finally his own teenage son were murdered before his eyes—bludgeoned with a knobkerrie (war club) or sliced up with an assegai (Zulu spear). When it was all over, Retief’s heart and liver had been cut out and presented to Dingaan. But what was that? Beside Retief’s body lay a leather pouch. Inside lay that precious treaty he had signed with Dingaan, granting the Boers all the land between the Tugela and Umzimvubu rivers. Here was proof that the Voortrekkers had won the land two ways: by treaty and by battle.

But something was strange—here, in this place of iniquity, where the vultures gorged on their accustomed diet of the flesh of black victims; as though kept at bay by a hidden hand, they had not touched the bodies of the Voortrekkers. Looking at the treaty, Andries Pretorius thought back on the events that had led up to this moment—back to the cape, in the years between 1835 and 1838.

British Oppression 

British rule had long favored the non-white peoples of the area to the detriment of the Boers.

The British had no time for the Dutch-Afrikaans speaking, freedom-loving Boers, and they used the race issue against the Boers to hinder and control them, to the extent that they felt neither secure nor free to conduct their lives in such a way as to ensure their own security, and they could see no future for their children. As the British government had grown in strength, British authority and military presence had became increasingly heavy-handed in the region, and with this came the curtailment of the (Boer) burgher commandos.

Another ongoing problem was created by homeless bands of Hottentots and former slaves—Malays and some West Africans—brought to the cape by the Dutch East India Company. These roving gangs presented a real risk to the safety of whites and more civilized blacks.

Furthermore, missionary societies, mainly acting as agents for the British government, had set up a type of “ACLU,” [American Civil Liberties Union] which made it their business to collect any and all minor anti-Boer grievances and reports of maltreatment, and champion them through the courts.

In court, it seemed that the animist[1] complainants were automatically believed—they who had no value system that deterred lying, and they who had nothing to lose in making such claims and everything to win. Many spurious cases were prosecuted against the Boers, who were thus persecuted in the courts.

The infamous “Ordinance 50” set out the basis for a raceless society which spelled, then, as now, the end of cultural and ethnic integrity for all races and the extinction of the white race. Their descendants understand this intimately. Since 1994 they have been the victims of an ongoing attempt launched by the Xhosa-dominated[2] government to genocide whites in South Africa. The conditions of whites today is strikingly similar to those of the Boers on the cape in the 19th-century.

The British authorities either could not or would not give the Eastern frontier Boers protection against the constant raids by the Xhosa from across the Fish River. The Xhosa would plunder their cattle and attack Boer homes, often murdering the occupants and burning their houses, before Boer commandos could mobilize. During the Sixth Frontier War, 40 farmers were murdered, 416 homesteads burned and thousands of horses, cattle and sheep stolen. The British authorities pursued a policy of appeasement toward the Xhosa.

Unable to tolerate the oppressive British rule any longer, from 1835 onward, some 15,000 Boer families packed up the few possessions they could fit into their canvas-covered wagons and set off for the interior, hoping there to find land, freedom, and self-determination, whilst preserving the integrity of their people—that essential pre-requisite for maintaining one’s unique cultural identity. They could speak their own language, worship their God and live according to their own culture, without interference. This Great Trek was the calling out of the people who would form the Boer nation. [See TBR’s “The Great Trek of the Boers,” the cover story of the November 1997 issue.—Ed.]

These were passionately independent, freedom-loving people summed up what it meant to be a Boer decades later in their anthem (as translated into English): “slaves of the Almighty, but before all others, free and uncompromised.”

These were principled people rather than materialistic: The cape had been so built up that it was known as the “fairest cape in all the world,” and “Little Paris” thanks to the efforts of the Boers.

But they left behind their beautiful “Cape Dutch” homes and farms, to travel into the unknown hinterland, with nothing but their pots and pans and the few small items they could carry in their wagons. Those unable to make the sacrifice for their principles, or who did not share these principles, stayed behind. Thus was the Boer nation born—in the spirit of self-sacrifice, with a big Bible in one hand and a gun in the other. The events of the Great Trek would provide a common history of hardship and sacrifice, and a belief in divine intervention that would forge the Boers indelibly into a distinct national identity.

For the first Voortrekkers, things did not go well: Jan van Rensburg’s small group, which left in 1835, was ambushed by blacks on the high veldt and massacred. Louis Trichardt’s party survived attacks by blacks, only to be vanquished by malaria.

The few survivors struggled on to Lorenzo Marques, Mozambique, where the friendly Portuguese put them on a ship returning to the cape. This disaster might have deterred other treks in a more complacent people, but the Boers in the cape were unable to meet the dangers that faced them on their own terms, because the British laws effectively tied their hands. They were determined to gain self-determination.

The Manifesto 

In 1837, Retief delivered his manifesto to The Grahams town Journal, in which he laid out the grievances of the Voortrekkers (pioneers). This document served as a declaration of independence for the Boers. As the historian Dr. Gustav Preller was later to evaluate him, Retief’s greatest virtue, “in his deeds and in his death, [was that] he compelled the Dutch-Afrikaans emigrants to believe that they were not merely isolated, roaming individuals, but that everyone was a participant in a great national bond, with one concern and one destination.”

Of French Huguenot ancestry, Retief was an educated man, of a refined and intelligent character. His experience fighting the Xhosa and his leadership role in mediations with the British had developed in him just the skills necessary to lead such a trek. Retief led his party across the Orange River, and out of British-held territory to Thaba Nchu, where they met up with other parties of Voortrekkers who had left earlier. Retief was promptly elected as the leader of the combined group. Retief led the largest group of Trekkers across the formidable Drakensberg Mountains (Dragon Mountains) into Natal, while yet others crossed the Vaal River into the Transvaal or remained in what was to become the Orange Free State.

Previously, in return for 49 cattle and Boer protection against the Matabele chief Mzilikazi (a renegade Zulu captain), the black leader Makwena had granted Hendrik Potgieter’s party the land between the Vet and Vaal rivers. When, in 1836 Mzilikazi attacked, Potgieter’s commando brigade succeeded in driving Mzilikazi and his Matabele (Ndebele) from the western Transvaal into what is now Zimbabwe, where they have remained to this day.

For the Retief Trek, crossing the formidable Drakensberg Mountains in itself was an almost superhuman feat, requiring an indomitable determination, resilience, and perseverance not to mention an optimistic, adventurous spirit. These intrepid qualities were required of even the children and women, for the ordeal was easy on none, and it became indelibly etched into the Boer psyche.

Tottering over near-vertical inclines, they ascended the Drakensberg, and on the other side, they descended often near vertical declines, requiring that the wheels be removed from the wagons, and saplings tied in their place; while the men would hold fast onto ropes at the front of the wagons, to prevent them from running over the oxen—making their laborious descent, almost on their knees; or careening to their destruction far below. There were no stores en route, and Voortrekkers had to be resourceful in creating all of their own commodities, from making their own soap, candles, bullets, wagon parts, shoes, clothes, makeshift ovens—from termite mounds—to developing their own medical cures, “Boererat” (Boer remedies), which drew heavily on the knowledge of nature and the use of local herbs.

As they left the cape, they started reading their Bibles at the point where God leads the children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt and leads them to the land of milk and honey in Canaan, the Promised Land. Naturally, they identified strongly. When they saw the green lands that lay before them, as they surmounted the Drakensberg, they could not be blamed for thinking that they too, had reached the Promised Land, and they called it Blydevooruitzicht— “Happy Prospects.”

Leaving the bulk of his party encamped along the Bloukrans River, Retief led a party of some 60 men and teenage boys to negotiate for land with Dingaan, the chief or king, at his kraal [enclosure], Umgungundlovu (“Place of the Elephant,” meaning Dingaan himself). Dingaan promised Retief and his trekkers that if they could recover the cattle a local chief had stolen from him, he would grant them land. With little difficulty, the Boers recovered the cattle, and on February 2, 1837, they arrived at Umgungundlovu with the some 7,000 retrieved cattle.

On February 5, Dingaan and Retief signed a treaty granting the Boers the land between the Tugela and the Umzimvubu rivers in Natal. (Natal was occupied at the time by the warlike Zulu tribe, like the Xhosa, part of the Nguni people, a branch of the Bantus who originated in the Uganda area.) Dingaan signed with an “X.” During the ceremony, a little Zulu child knelt at Dingaan’s side, with his hands cupped. At intervals, Dingaan would spit into his hands, and the boy would rub the spittle into his belly, praising the king. The honor was greatly coveted. Festivities followed the signing of the agreement. The following day, February 6, the Boers rose before daybreak to return to Bloukrans, where the rest of the trek party awaited them.

Just then, a messenger arrived from Dingaan, inviting Retief and his party to meet once more with the king, before they left. Retief and his trekkers, as well as two Englishmen from Port Natal, were persuaded to unwisely leave their weapons outside the kraal, as a mark of respect to the Zulu king. Offering them some sorghum beer, Dingaan toasted their friendship, attested to by the signed treaty Retief carried in his bag.

Then Dingaan commanded two of his impis (regiments) to entertain them by dancing. For some 15 minutes the warriors danced, shouted and made feinting movements with their spears. Advancing three steps and retreating two—they advanced toward the Boers. Suddenly, Dingaan arose shouting “kill the white wizards,” and immediately some 2,000 Zulus fell upon the unsuspecting Boers.

Some leaped to their feet, drawing their small hunting knives, but they were no match for the numbers and spears of the Zulu warriors. Feet trailing, they were dragged off to a hill next to Umgungundlovu, called Hlomo Amabutu, “the Hill of Execution,” there to be savagely murdered, one by one—where Andries Pretorius and the victors of Blood River would eventually find them.

About two hours after Retief’s heart and liver had been presented to Dingaan, his impis, under the captains Ndlela and Dambuza, set off to massacre the rest of the Boer party, who were camped out at Bloukrans, a considerable distance from Umgungundlovu; chanting, “We will go and kill the white dogs.” The English missionary, Francis Owen and an American, William Wood, witnessed the murder from Owen’s hut overlooking Hlomo Amabutu. Fearful for their own lives, they fled several days later for Port Natal.

Not suspecting any treachery, the Boers had not formed their wagons into a defensive circle (laager), but were camped out in groups of varying sizes. As they slept on the night of February 16, 1838, the Zulu army of some 10,000 attacked: The Liebenberg family was slaughtered in their beds. Having been left for dead, along with his murdered wife, mother, and sisters, a badly wounded Daniel Bezuidenhout managed to mount his horse and ride to warn other camps.

It was a bloody massacre: the Zulus were said to have snatched up babies, thrown them into the air and impaled them upon their short thrusting spears or dashed their heads on rocks. One man grabbed his baby daughter and ran for miles through the bush, clutching his child to his chest, only to find that she had already been murdered while still in her crib. One woman, having survived the initial onslaught, was seeking her opportunity to warn the others, when she was surprised by some Zulus, returning from their bloody pastime.

Trying to crawl into a wagon, her leg was still protruding as they came in sight of her. She lay motionless, feigning death. As they passed her by, each Zulu stabbed her leg. To flinch or cry out would have meant certain death so, with incredible will power, she managed to remain absolutely motionless, as tens of Zulus stabbed that exposed leg—and survived to tell of it. At last, some of the larger camps managed to draw their wagons into a laager, and the Zulus were fended off. 

Weenen 

As dawn broke on February 16, the specter of the mutilated corpses of some 300 people assailed the eyes of the survivors.

The senseless brutality of the Zulus impressed itself upon all. The body of Johanna van der Merwe was found to have been stabbed 21 times and Catherina Prinsloo 17 times. Elizabeth Smit lay with her three-day-old baby beside her—her breast hacked off. Anna Elizabeth Steenkamp’s diary describes the gory scene of a wagon filled with the corpses of 50 people, mostly children, all of whom had been hacked apart, their blood drenching the wagon. Altogether, 41 men, 56 women and 185 children had been murdered. Together with the Retief party, more than half of the Boer party in Natal had been massacred.

So, the Voortrekkers named the place Weenen, or “Weeping,” the name it is called by still, though the Black African National Congress government seeks to erase all such reminders of the Boer presence in South Africa, and how they watered the ground with their blood, and still do. Leaving their bloody handiwork at Bloukrans, the Zulus turned on the British trading settlement of Port Natal, seeking to exterminate the whites there too. Some Englishmen from Port Natal, including Thomas Halstead and George Biggar, had been murdered along with Retief’s party.

Wishing to avenge the deaths of their friends, the British set out to meet the Zulus, but only four Englishmen and 500 displaced Zulus (refugees from Dingaan) escaped to Port Natal. The English eventually took refuge on a ship in port, leaving the Zulu refugees to face Dingaan’s forces. Other Boer parties came to the aid of the Boers at Weenen but were ambushed at the Battle of Italeni.

Andries Pretorius 

The news of the treachery of Dingaan aroused much indignation, and a wave of sympathy for the Natal Boers resulted in hundreds of Boers joining Andries Pretorius’s Trek.

Pretorius was a successful farmer from Graaff Reinet—an area that along with Swellendam, in opposition to the autocratic rule of the Dutch India Company, had declared itself an independent republic in 1795—before the British had occupied the Cape, though the British had reversed this the next year when they occupied the Cape during the Napoleonic wars. Many Voortrekkers hailed from this area. Pretorius’s trekkers arrived in Natal in November 1838. He was elected commandant general by the Natal Boers.

Pretorius swiftly organized a commando group of some 464 men. He would not attack the Zulus, but waited for them to attack him. First, Sarel Cilliers, the pastor, led the Boers in taking an oath to Almighty God, that if He would deliver them from the Zulus and grant them victory, then forever more, they and their descendants would celebrate the day as a sacred day and celebrate it as if it “were a Sabbath.” Then, on December 15, as his scouts reported a large Zulu army in the area, Pretorius chose the site of his camp.

He formed a laager of 64 wagons into the shape of a capital “D”: the straight side ran along a deep donga or ditch which extended for some distance at a 90 degree angle to the Ncome River; the lower part of the “D” ran parallel with the Ncome, and the rest of the rounded part faced the northwest, where there were no natural defenses. The two muzzle-loading canons were positioned in openings between the wagons, while 900 oxen and about 500 horses were penned up in the center of the laager. The motto of the Boers has ever been “Boer maak ‘n plan” (“a Boer makes a plan”), and they plugged the spaces between and under the wagons with thorn bushes, which worked like barbed wire, to bar the entry of the Zulus into the laager. They also lined the donga with thorn bushes.

As it grew dark and a mist descended, the Boers hung their lanterns on the ends of their long whips, and secured them on the wagons, so that the lights shown from the wagons. To the Zulus, creeping up for a surprise attack under the cover of dark, it appeared that a halo of light hovered over the laager, protecting the Boers. “Be witched! Be witched!” they screamed as they fled in terror, leaving the Boers safe for the night.

The Battle of Blood River  

The Boers fought with muzzle-loading rifles, loaded by pouring gunpowder down the barrel, then ramming leaden, musket balls down the barrel with a ramrod. On pulling the trigger, the gunpowder ignited and a second later, the shot was fired. The Boers made their own bullets. Traditionally, while the man was shooting, his wife, mother or daughter would be loading another gun, and they would shoot until the guns were too hot. Sometimes, if the blacks were too close, the women would have to make the shot, or hit a black on the head with the butt of the gun, as they tried to crawl under the wagons. As in America’s own pioneer times, women were integral to the survival of the community.

The Zulu attack came at dawn on December 16, 1838. Looking out on the veldt before them, the Boers were greeted by a seething black mass of between 15,000 and 20,000 Zulu warriors, chanting and stamping their feet in a war dance, working themselves into a killing frenzy. The sight and sound were enough to send chills through the stoutest of hearts. They had no desire to replay the events of the massacre at Weenen.

Heavily outnumbered as they were, the Boers needed to hold their fire until they were sure it would count. At the first burst of fire, the Zulus fell in the hundreds, and at every successive round, their corpses stacked up.

The successive waves of spears thrown by the Zulus came hurtling through the air like a black rain, but miraculously, throughout the battle, they caused no deaths at all. Inside the laager, the air grew blue with smoke. The Boers could hardly see their hands before them. Fortunately, the Zulus retreated out of range of the rifles, allowing the guns to cool and the air to clear before a second charge. Again and again they charged, swarming into the donga and through the river, and again and again the Boers shot into their midst, taking a heavy toll.

The Boers used their two cannon to maximum effect, at one stage aiming one as far as possible into the rear lines, and the other into the center of the front lines. Attacking en masse, the Zulus crossing the river were shot in the water, until the river ran red. The river came to be known, until this day, as “Blood River.”

The Boers pulled aside a wagon, and a commando of around 100 men galloped out. Shooting from the saddle, they caused havoc among the Zulus until their forces were divided and routed. The Zulus fled, and the Boers pursued them until dark, leaving around 3,000 Zulus dead on the battlefield, and countless more off the site, with even more dying later from their wounds. Remarkably, there were no Boer casualties to speak of, though Pretorius himself was slightly wounded in the arm, and another two Boers were nicked by spears.

It was truly a miracle, and the Calvinistic Boers gave the glory to God, taking their amazing victory as a sign from the Almighty that He was with them and that just as He had given the land of Canaan to the Israelites, He had delivered Natal to the Boers.

After the battle, Dingaan fled into Swaziland, where he was subsequently assassinated, and in 1840, Andries Pretorius and a Boer commando unit of around 400 helped Dingaan’s half-brother, Mpanda, establish himself as king. And so it was that the Boers of Blood River made a pilgrimage to Hlomo Amabutu, “The Hill of Execution,” to find the murdered bodies of Retief and his party, and to give them a Christian burial.

It was there that they retrieved the treaty from a corpse untouched by the vultures. The Boers kept their part of the vow, and built a church to God and ever after their descendants have honored December 16 as a sacred day—that is, until the traitor governments of P.W. Botha and F.W. De Klerk (1980s onward) ceased observing it as a public event at the Voortrekker Monument. Even so, there have always been Boers who kept the day holy at private and political rallies.

One hundred years later, in 1938, when the Boers had once again gained power in their own country, they built the mighty Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria to commemorate the Battle of Blood River and the covenant they had made with God. On the lower floor of the massive monument stands a cenotaph to the Voortrekker dead, which from the ground level, can be seen through a circular well in the marble floor.

In the domed ceiling, some 120 feet above, there is a little hole, and at exactly midday on the 16th of December, the Sun shines through that little aperture, down onto the cenotaph, to illuminate the words on it: “ONS VIR JOU SUID-AFRIKA.” These are the words of the South African anthem, “Die Stem,” (“The Call [or Voice] of South Africa”), which pledges our lives for our country and volk. The site of Blood River, too, was graced with 64 bronze, life-size wagons, forming an eternal laager to mark the site of this significant battle, and God’s grace.

Aftermath 

The defeat of the Zulus at Blood River and the murder of Dingaan had broken the back of Zulu power for the moment. Significantly, the Boers never sought to rule the Zulus, but in 1840 helped Mpanda establish his own independent kingdom just one year after the Boers established their own independent Boer Republic of Natalia.

However, the defeat of the Zulus, caused the British to cast even more covetous eyes over Natal, and by 1843, British encroachment from the Eastern Cape led to a war between the Boers and the British, with the Boers besieging Congella. The British broke the siege and in 1845, just as the Boers were reaping the rewards of their hard work, the British formally annexed the Republic of Natalia, claiming that the Boers were still British subjects and as such any land they claimed belonged to the Crown. Once again, the Boers became disheartened, having sacrificed so much, only to find themselves once again under British rule.

However, it was the Boer women who vowed that their beloved dead husbands, fathers and sons, and all those at Bloukrans, should not have died in vain. Even if they had to cross the Drakensberg range barefoot, they would do so, but they would never remain under British rule. Heartened by the courage and the willingness of their women to endure further sacrifice, the Boers trekked once again over the Drakensberg Mountains into the fledgling republics in the Orange Free State and the Transvaal. There they were to achieve independence until the discovery of gold in the Transvaal brought an unholy alliance of bankers and gold mine owners to threaten their sovereignty—yet again.

Endnotes:

1 Animism is a category of religion that does not accept the separation of body and soul. It is based upon the belief that souls are found in animals, plants, stones and other objects. Many animists teach that there is one supreme god (who may be relatively uninvolved in everyday life) and many lesser gods. Animals are worshiped as earthly representatives of the gods.

2 During the 17th century, a migration took place that led thousands of Negro people from southern Zaire in various directions to cover much of sub-Saharan Africa. One of the tribes who took part in this migration was the Xhosa, descended from a clan of the Nguni (Zulu). Some Xhosas, however, are descended from the Khoisan people, and the Xhosa language differs from Zulu in that it has click sounds derived from the Khoisans. The Xhosa tend to dominate politics in South Africa. Presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki are Xhosan.

Article Source: BarnesReview.org

———————————————-

More on the Battle of Blood River:

The Day of the Vow

“The Day of the Vow was a public holiday held in South Africa before 1994. The day was observed as a religious holiday by Afrikaners in memory of the victory of the Voortrekkers over the Zulus at the Battle of Blood River on 16 December 1838. Before the battle, the Voortrekkers took a vow to observe a day of thanksgiving should they be granted victory. This video footage consists of life-size bronze replicas of the wagons involved in the historic battle of Blood River.”

The Battle of Blood River Monument

 THE VOW

My brethren and fellow countrymen, at this moment we stand before the holy God of heaven and earth, to make a promise, if He will be with us and protect us and deliver the enemy into our hands so that we may triumph over him, that we shall observe the day and the date as an anniversary in each year and a day of thanksgiving like the Sabbath, in His honour; and that we shall enjoin our children that they must take part with us in this, for a remembrance even for our posterity; and if anyone sees a difficulty in this, let him return from this place. For the honour of His name shall be joyfully exalted, and to Him the fame and the honour of the victory must be given.

Church of The Vow, Pietermaritzburg
Take a 360 virtual tour of the Voortrekker Monument (click the photo below)
%d bloggers like this: