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Report of the restoration of land and the dignity of the people Conference in the Cape of Good Hope Castle.

The Genius of God at Work, in His Church, His Body, His representatives on earth.
The church is awaking from her slumber, and are taking a stand for healing, mediation and reconciliation.  The Mediation Foundation for Peace and Justice[1]organised a conference at the Cape Castle for the restoration of land and the dignity of the people under the leadership of Alan Nelson.
The African Christian Union[2]was founded by Apostle Gregory Kruyer to speak to the societal issues of Africa and they have been working to bring the gospel to all the five groupings of the Khoi Khoi, and bushman people. (Korana, Bushman, Griqua, Cape Khoi and the Nama.) On 19 May 2017 a royal degree was signed to protect their heritage according to International Law and basic principles of minority protection, and to declare their royalty and sovereignty as the first nations in Southern Africa.  The signing of this decree is significant as it brought unity to them as a collective.
Princess Chantal Revell is really the one who carries the spiritual burden of the Khoi. She holds it all together and has been on the journey of the restoration of her people for 18 years. She is on the national Khoi council, a statutory body and has connections with all the various groups although she is a princess in the Korana royal house.
Special care was taken to lead them to Christ, offering counselling and support. A 7 day fast was undertaken leading up to the anointing ceremony of this day, 8/8/2018. This was done prophetically to lay down their Kingdoms to the King of King Jesus Christ. Also breaking the curse of slavery and poverty that has rested upon these peoples for centuries.  The apostles of the city came and anointed these Kings and Queens as the Priest of old, to rule wisely, righteously, and bring peace to their people. Their kingdoms were thus declared and honoured, as the Bible ascribes in the Law, that we should honour our parents so that we may have a long life.
Calvyn Gilfellan CEO of the Castle of good hope, the oldest Colonial building in the Country welcomed all the guests by reminding them of the prophetic significance of the date. 8/8/18 Speaking of 3 times new Birth, 352 years since the arrival of Jan van Riebeek.  August is also declared Diversity Month, and the room used for the conference is called “allermans barracks”. The purpose of the meeting was to prophetically declare the restoration of first nations in South Africa. May God use this building (to many a tombstone of pain and suppression) as the birthplace of a new foundation. Let’s unite.
The Keynote speaker was Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. His message was from Jeremiah 30. The only way to achieve a truly sustainable solution to the emotional land expropriation issue is through peace, unity and shared prosperity.
Mogoeng Mogoeng the head of South Africa’s judiciary – a part-time pastor – challenged those present, who were mostly members of the First Nations (Khoi and San) royal houses, to seek the return of their land through peace and forgiveness. Speaking to the media outside the event, Mogoeng said the country needed to go back to basics if it wanted the best land expropriation solution.
“We need to get the foundation right. For us to resolve any of the serious problems that confront South Africa, we’ve got to deal with ourselves as a people.
“We are too divided to achieve anything,” he added.
The critical starting point therefore was for South Africans, black, white and especially First Nations people, to recognise that the overemphasis placed on artificial differences has taken citizens back.
“We need to recognise that we are one people, one nation. As long as we are divided, we are not going to achieve anything. This is a critical beginning that our country has everything that each and every one of us needs to prosper and realise our full potential.
“Let’s unite. Let’s pursue peace. Let’s love and respect ourselves because you can’t give what you don’t have.” Mogoeng also said there were so many things that enjoined and united South Africans as people, for too long the country has focused on what separated it.
“The rest of the African continent looks to South Africa for guidance and solutions because of the incredible capacity we’ve displayed for compromising and bridging our differences, and the infrastructure we have here.”  Mogoeng said he would visit a group of “mega farmers” in Parys at the end of August to engage and take his message to them. “The message is the same: don’t despair about the land issue. We are a peace-loving people as South Africans, and there is no solution that relates to the land issue except one that caters to all of us, that unites us, and is enduring.
“If we ever think we have arrived at a solution, but it is such that it benefits some but not all, it won’t last long. We will play games to try and sustain it, but it can never sustain forever. “That which will unite us and sustain peace, is the kind of solution that we must pursue.”
He again emphasised that solutions driven by love, reconciliation, peace and shared prosperity “will last forever. If not, it will fail, and it’s just a matter of time”.
There was a strong church presence during Mogoeng’s address and a ceremony to honour the First Nations royalty present. Mogoeng led those present in a prayer and asked God to lead the way as South Africans find solutions to what was a heart problem. “Nobody wants to be dehumanised, nobody wants to be exploited. So I understand where the anger comes from. But it is time to forgive,” he challenged everyone. If they do so, God would find a way for land to be returned to those who deserved it and for all in the country, black and white, to prosper together, he said.[3]
Mogoeng plainly focused our attention that the only Unifier is the one who knows the secrets of the heart and the future.  Jesus Christ!
A Judge understand judicial processes, it was significant that he directed us all, but specifically the descendants of the first nations of South Africa, to the Biblical healing process. Thy bruise is incurable, and thy wound is grievous… for the multitude of thine iniquity; because thy sins were increased.Jer 30:12-14.
In legal terms, this is a profound truth.  You were inflicted with wounds because of someone’s transgression against you, but because of the transgressional sins that you have entered in, your wounds are not healing.  Sins like hatred, bitterness, and resentment can do that to a person. For a person to heal of the inflicted wounds of someone else’s sin, you have no other option, but to forgive, and bless and pray for your enemies.
We are looking to people to heal our wounds, but do not repent of our own iniquity.
After 24 years, our best efforts have failed us, to unite this nation and foster prosperity for all.  The strong arm of our own efforts and strength has not availed. We need to turn our heart and eyes to Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit to lead us.
There are also many promises in the portion of scripture, whirlwinds of revival, restoration of what was lost, glory and restitution. However, please understand that no promise are without conditions.”  Stop the thinking of receiving and getting.  Adam worked. Prov 22:29 Those who are diligent will be brought before kings. Every single promise in the Word is always with conditions, and requirements first to be accomplished and fulfilled before the promise is released.
The message and person of the Chief Justice gives hope! There were many decrees and declarations made during the meeting of the birth of a New Nation. A united, peaceful and prosperous nation!
During the lunch break I was introduced to Chris Pienaar, a unionist from Paarl, with the most perfect Afrikaans accent, yet he is black. He smiled warmly: “one day I will tell you my whole story.” With a twinkle in his eye, he told me of how many times he would introduce himself over the phone, and then when arriving at the appointed meeting, see the confusion on faces, they expected a white person. After many years of winning CCMA cases he realised something has to change. They were winning cases, but destroying relationships, and destroying any future provision and favour for that individual.  They are working on a new type of workers Union based on a Christ-centred relationship mediation approach.
In the end of the meeting, once the royalties were honoured, blessed and declaration of anointing received. The moderator of the NGK church Nelis Janse van Rensburg spoke. He emphasised and offered a sincere apology for the abuses of the past. Declaring that the church will continue to apologise, again and again, until all receive the healing and restoration that Christ offers.  As the NGK church they have started a process called ‘the season of human dignity’. Together we will discover and affirm the human dignity given by God in Christ to us all and the implications of this discovery and affirmation for the church.
The values for this process are:

  • Listening
  • Respect
  • Embracement
  • Selflessness

At a certain point he said: “we want to bow before you and ask forgiveness” at that moment I felt we had to demonstrate this. We knelt before the royal guest, and started repentance from the heart, praying for another. There is so much pain! It is immeasurable! Yet as soon as we finished, these dear old leaders reciprocated and instantly gave forgiveness.
Something was released in the heavenlies as the Holy Spirit disrupted the program and many tears flowed. The atmosphere changed and healing was released.
This day was evidence of the restoration of the Hut of David, where all the gentiles come and bow their knee to the King of all kings.
As we now go out to our cities and town, may we seek more ways to reconcile, make peace, listen, talk, share stories, humble ourselves and see a nation healed, and a new nations awaken and rise up in righteousness.
May we see in our lifetime the healing of the nations in South Africa.
[1]http://peaceandjustice.co.za
[2]http://www.acu.org.za
[3]https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/mogoeng-calls-for-peace-forgiveness-to-resolve-land-issue-20180808

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Sermons

The missing Link in the Land Reform debate: Healthy Relationships

Our Country is facing a Relationship Crisis not a Land-reform or Economic crisis.

The original sin of apartheid is not the 1993 land act, it was the violation of a relationship.

With a consumption per capita Gini coefficient of 0.63 in 2015, South Africa is one of the most unequal countries in the world. Being the most unequal society points not to the numerical values of amounts in our bank accounts, but the national deficit of broken relationships due to corruption, greed, lies, deceit, entitlement, disrespect, hatred, suspicion, and self-interest.

We are seeing growing public indignation at the perceived disconnect between perks for a few and the rights of the many. [1]

The guiding principle of the South African Government, as captured in the NDP, is that “no political democracy can survive and flourish if the mass of our people remaining in poverty, without land, without tangible prospects for a better life. Attacking poverty and deprivation must be the first priority of a democratic government”.Much has been done by Government to provide free primary health care; no-fee paying schools; old age and child support grants; housing; and free basic services (water, electricity and sanitation) to poor households. Although these policies and interventions have resulted in notable gains in poverty reduction since 1994, the country continues to face the challenge of high poverty, high inequality and high unemployment. This points to a deeper problem namely a relational problem: Trust between civil society and government is on an all-time low because of corruption, incompetence, incapacity, laziness, entitlement, and egotistical self-interest.

In their groundbreaking book, based on years of research, Pickett and Wilkinson provides hard evidence to show, how almost everything – from life expectancy to depression levels, violence to illiteracy – is affected not by how wealthy a society is, but how equal it is. The Age of criminal responsibility is lower in more unequal countries.
Infant mortality rates are higher in more unequal countries.
Levels of trust are higher in more equal countries.
Health and social problems are worse in more unequal countries.
Life expectancy are lower in more unequal countries.[2] Inequality points to one thing: Profit, and materialism has become more important than people.

Although the EFF is right in putting it’s finger on this throbbing nerve in South Africa, it has no plan to solve or heal it. Land grabs, race hatred, African Nationalism, expropriation without compensation, nationalizing the country towards a socialist state has been done by the previous Apartheid Government and failed. It failed because it divided our Nation, who whether we believe it or not, are more united than most believe or are willing to accept.

Cultural integration took place whether unconsciously whether we all liked it or not and cannot be stopped.  Most Black South Africans opposed white supremacy and colonialism through the liberation struggle, yet new languages were adopted, lifestyles altered, and values affected.  We all lost some part of our original cultural heritage in effect.   An aspect of division to many, but in fact actually proof our interdependence is the issue of the Afrikaans language. The white Afrikaner’s claim to the language proved to be incoherent with the facts as explained by Robert C. H. Shell, the tower of Babel: The Slave trade and the Creolization at the Cape 1652-1834. Creolization: The mixing of people brought a cultural blend which ultimately led to the formation of new identities. The complexity of the early Slave trade, where year after year new cultures and languages were brought to the Cape, and working together necessitates that one understands each other, a new mixed language evolved.[3]   Afrikaans by definition is a mixed language.  Many whites have been raised by black or coloured mothers.  Then there is the question of intermarriage, resulting in possibly very few people who can claim a 100% pure ancestral lineage, based on DNA testing.   Our History are so closely linked and integrated like different colours of sand mixed in one container it is impossible to separate.  Even if integration is from 9 – 5 O’clock, the work place has offered a neutral ground of tolerance, and relationships had to be fostered and maintained.

As a strong Christian-value based nation we need to recognize the Bible is a compilation of relationship rules. Sin is basically about breaking relational rules and thus breaking relationships. Relationships is the glue that keeps all the parts together.

The priority in SA should be relationship reform, not land-reform.

Fundamentally the Christian faith is built upon our relationship with a relational God. God is in essence a harmonious relationship of not three Gods, but one God in three persons.  Before the fall God established four fundamental relationships for each person; a relationship with God, with self, with others, and with the rest of creation. These relationships are the building blocks for all of life.  When these relationships are functional and healthy, humans experience the fullness of what God destined for mankind.

Sin is in essence a betrayal and termination of these relationships.

Sins like: Pride, envy, greed, covetousness, idleness, egotism, and rage

Sin in its fullest sense refers to disorientation from right relationship with God, which then leads to disorientation from right relationship with self, others, and all of creation. That disorientation results in wrongdoings. Sin is dislocating God from the center of reality. Cynthia D. Moe-Lobeda

As ideological economic and political system, neither pure capitalism nor pure socialism leads to an ideal outcome: for South Africa, rather, the solution lies in constitutionalism enacted correctly.

The Preamble of our Constitution declares that the people of South Africa recognize the injustices of the past, honour those who have suffered for justice and freedom, and respect those who have built and developed the country. It then declares that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in their diversity, and that the freely elected representatives of the people of South Africa have adopted the Constitution as supreme law, to

  • heal the divisions of the past and create a society based on democratic values, social justice and basic human rights;
  • lay the foundations for a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people and every citizen is equally protected by the law;
  • improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of all people; and
  • build a united and democratic South Africa able to take its rightful place as a sovereign state in the family of nations.

In conclusion, the prayer is delivered that God may protect our people and may bless South Africa!

The Constitution of South Africa was birth when opposing parties reconciled, united, and began to work together as one Nation on founding a premise, a set of laws to protect and guide all the diverse people of SA towards healthy relationships.

The one most basic ingredient that is most needed, in any solution offered by any party, is the missing link of healthy, respectful, reciprocal, valued relationships.

Solutions driven by love, reconciliation, peace and shared prosperity will last forever. We need to recognise that we are one people, one nation. As long as we are divided, we are not going to achieve anything. Mogoeng Mogoeng

Human rights vs Human Wrongs:

  • We have chosen human rights, at the cost of mutual reciprocal responsibility.
  • We have chosen economic gains and profits at the cost of the people working for those profits.
  • We try to correct wrongs by laws and policies but ignoring the intricate network of relationships involved.
  • We tried to silence the poor with grants, and houses, but in the process have forgotten and abandoned the fact they were crying for dignity and inclusion.
  • We try to give more people work but regarded them as objects and figures on growth charts, dehumanizing them.
  • Unions won CCMA cases but lost relationships, vital inherent provision to the worker’s future.
  • Politicians win votes from a minority electorate, but did they build a nation?
  • Leaders lobby for votes, where they should have built bridges.

There is no one size fit all solution to the very complex Land Reform issue, for this reason we have no other option but that local communities begin to directly engage, build trust and empathy through listening and dialogue, and together find their win-win fitting solutions.

Like with the hearings we need to move from town to town, with a team: We need to mobilize specialized teams of peace-makers, mediators, and problem-solvers all over South Africa, to assist with this process.

You cannot transform precarious informal settlements to dignified communities without public participation, thus unlocking the value and richness within that communities. Outside interventions is not sustainable. Finding the plans and ideas in a community and bring them into fulfillment is what brings lasting change.  Long-term, lasting relationships is the glue that keeps all the parts together of any type of intervention.  Only the local community can provide that lasting energy, not National government nor State departments.  Sustainable poverty alleviation is only successful when we help reconnect broken relationships.  The poor are protesting not only for jobs, money, houses, they’re grieving because main stream society has forgotten, neglected and abandoned them.

The land reform projects failed mainly because farming is difficult, and a farmer needs the help, support, guidance, peer-to-peer mentorship and advice of his or her neighbors. We grow and learn through a network of relationships, and a process of applying that knowledge, making mistakes, and making improvements, until we become good at it, then we can begin to help others. Any intervention that ignores this process will fail.  It is all about growing and maintaining healthy relationships.  Presenting any programs, solutions without building the actual relationships between all parties, is why projects and land-reform fail and thus become unsustainable.

The Paternistic role the relationship between Farmer and Labourers as a “paternalistic despotism of a racialized kind because it became a position of dominance and class discarding the relationship.  Farmers who build healthy relationships with their workers, and their wives and children, creates a fruitful village, a closely-knit farm-family that look after the other’s interests.  When the government tried to take over this role, which they could not even fulfil, the farmer withdraws, and further deprivation occurred. Let the farmer take up his or her role, and monitor it, assists, guide, and nurture it.   Government fought for the rights of the poor, by ESTA, labour legislation and minimum wages, excluding the farmer, instead of working through the farmer.  Enforcing and enhancing a relationship!

Lessons Learned when healthy relationships are missing

Building a company, a business where the CEO and management are disconnected with the workers and labourers will not remain profitable, cost-effective or productive. Relationships count.

Trying to connect people through religious activities to buildings, organisations and rituals dissatisfy our yearning to connect to God and fellow believers. Church should lead by example to reconcile man, to God, to self, to their neighbours, and to purpose.

Creating a program to uplift farmworkers without building healthy relationships between workers and managers/farmers, workers with workers, and workers with their families is not sustainable.

Developing leaders on the farm/business without the management having a healthy relationship with the leaders leads to the very leaders becoming the voices of dissonance and rebellion, and protest in the end.

Training and capacity building without the relational ingredient lead to workers being trained by the farm but finding employment elsewhere. Relationships is what keeps people loyalty.

Building infrastructure without public participation and engagement leads to people getting what they not really need nor want.  A Relief, then Rehabilitation, then Developmental approach to poverty alleviation is now considered the best practise worldwide. [4]

Economic empowerment without developing and growing together leads to the empowerment project becoming a separate entity often in competition with the farm.

Values and rules enforced without respecting and modelling it within the relational framework leads to rules never being internalise and eventually becoming a piece of paper in a file. Rules should be modelled from the highest to the lowest level on the farm to become part of the organisational culture.

Unions won CMMA cases but lost relationships, and thus alienated the worker from any future provision and care, embedded in the relationship.

Even marketing based on building and maintaining relationships are proven to be most effective.

There is simply no single one thing any of us can do, without a network of friends and family.

Many jobs are lost because of a struggling economy. But many people are losing their jobs because of relationship issues, miscommunication, unethical behaviour, gross negligence, low work ethic and production levels, lack of integrity and character. Healthy relationships is the consequence of an healthy heart and soul. Love your neighbour as yourself.

True Christians should be the most employable people on the planet, because of the serving, meek and humble attitude, their integrity, passion and highest standards.

It is not time to make things right in SA, and build bridges, reconcile, make peace, seek justice, love mercy, and rebuild the ancient ruins of right living!

 

[1]World Economic Forum, The new Social Covenant.

[2]Wilkinson & Pickett, The Spirit Level (2009)

[3]Elizabeth A Eldredge, Fred Mouton. Slavery in South Africa captive Labor on the Dutch Frontier,

[4]Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert, When helping Hurts, how to alleviate poverty without hurting the poor and yourself. Pg 139