14Oct20-South Africa-Original

Dear prayer partners,

On Saturday 10 October, hundreds of protesters gathered at South Africa’s Union Buildings, to raise awareness of farm killings – calling on the government and police to act against the perpetrators – and to pray. The demonstration follows the brutal death of 21-year-old Brendin Horner on a farm in Paul Roux, in the Free State.

Brendin Horner’s body was found in the early hours on Friday 2 October. A murder case was registered with the police and a manhunt for the suspects was launched. On Saturday 3 October, two suspects, aged 32 and 43, were arrested. They were found in possession of blood-stained clothing and shoes allegedly belonging to the victim. On Tuesday 6 October, protesters stormed the Senekal Magistrate Court and set a police vehicle alight. Protesters requested that no bail be granted for the accused. On Wednesday 7 October, a 51-year-old farmer was arrested in connection with the violent protests. Minister of Police Bheki Cele denounced the murder, and resulting violent protests.  He said tensions would have to be addressed, as some political parties sought to use the situation to bring further division.

On Monday 12 October, President Ramaphosa condemned the murder of Brendin Horner in his weekly newsletter to the nation and said: “If we are to succeed in tackling violent crime, particularly in rural communities, we must confront this trauma and challenge the racial attitudes that prevent a united response.” The defendants’ bail application goes before the court on Friday 16 October.

There is a desperate desire among many South Africans (of whom some 70% profess to be followers of Christ) to see their nation healed of the deep wounds of the past, and the ongoing legacy of violence. But, for there to be true healing and revival in this ‘rainbow nation’ (beautifully diverse), will require genuine love, forgiveness, unity, and reconciliation. As emotions run high, this may seem impossible, but Jesus reminded His disciples in Matthew 19:26: “‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’”

South Africa’s national anthem calls on the Lord to bless and protect the nation, and for its people to live and strive for freedom together. May this be especially true during these deeply troubling times.

Please join with us in praying for South Africa.

“In the end, reconciliation is a spiritual process, which requires more than just a legal framework. It has to happen in the hearts and minds of people.” (Nelson Mandela)