Acton Institute Powerblog

After apartheid, South Africa veers toward vengeance

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“South Africa’s institutionalized national sin of radical and often violent racial segregation, officially known as Apartheid, ended in the early 1990s. Changes in law, however, do not necessarily mean that there is immediate social transformation,” says Trey Dimsdale in this week’s Acton Commentary. “The deep civic wounds that this dark period inflicted on the nation still fester, as evidenced in a March 1 vote by the National Assembly to confiscate white-owned land without compensation.”

A national policy as thorough and systematic as Apartheid was always bound to create social problems without easy solutions, but this resolution is nothing short of thuggery and legalized vigilantism. The once violently oppressed South African majority that was once victimized by those who held the reins of state power, now liberated and democratically placed in control of those reins, have simply turned the same tools of oppression into weapons of vengeance. The National Assembly, led by opposition leader Julius Malema, will likely alter the South African Constitution so that this becomes national policy with no legal recourse. Malema is notable for saying to his supporters in 2016, “We are not calling for the slaughter of white people — at least for now.”

The full text of the essay can be found here.

Joe Carter Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).