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Dispatches from a Darkening Corner of the Dark Continent

The “Pandor Pledge” for Schoolchildren

by Shaun Willcock

The purpose of these articles is to provide insightful comment on the contemporary South African and southern African scene from a Christian, “politically-incorrect” perspective, in order to counter the propaganda of the Reds, almost-Reds (liberals and others), religious Reds (“liberation theologians”), and all their fellow-travellers; and to encourage Christians to pray for the people of this beautiful but desperately needy part of the world, and especially for their Christian brethren living here; and to do what they can to assist them.

In February, Education Minister Naledi Pandor announced that all South African schoolchildren will have to take a pledge of allegiance to the South African constitution every day at the start of school. She said that the pledge was intended to “internalise” the “values of the [constitution]”.

Here are the words of the pledge:

“We the youth of South Africa, recognising the injustices of our past, honour those who suffered and sacrificed for justice and freedom.

“We will respect and protect the dignity of each person, and stand up for justice.

“We sincerely declare that we shall uphold the rights and values of our Constitution and promise to act in accordance with the duties and responsibilities that flow from these rights.

“!KE E:/ XARRA// KE [the motto on SA’s coat of arms, in the San language]
“Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika [“God Bless Africa”, the title of SA’s ANC-promoted national anthem, an interfaith hymn].”

This pledge is disgraceful, and represents a shocking attempt at indoctrination of the youth of the country. No true Christian, and indeed no decent South African citizen, should ever allow his children to recite this pledge; and here are the reasons why:

1) It is deliberately designed to indoctrinate white South African children with a permanent guilt complex about SA’s past, at least according to the myth of that past which the African National Congress (ANC) government is propagating, and to indoctrinate black South African schoolchildren with an attitude of superiority. For the words, “recognising the injustices of our past”, refer to the sometimes real but mostly imagined or exaggerated “injustices” which occurred under the previous white government of SA; and the words, “we... honour those who suffered and sacrificed for justice and freedom”, refer to the revolutionary and Marxist activities of the ANC terrorists who fought against the State.


It is impossible for any Christian, or for any decent human being, to teach his children to honour such terrorists, who used guns, bombs, and burning petrol-filled tyres around victims’ necks (“necklacing’) to come to power. They want children to recite a pledge in which these same Marxist terrorists are praised and honoured, and in which the previous white government is seen as unjust, even though it was far, far superior in every way to the wicked government SA now has. These terrorists did not “suffer and sacrifice” for “justice and freedom”: their imprisonments, etc., were all richly deserved, considering their crimes, and as we look around at the “New South Africa” they created, there is little true justice and less and less true freedom.


“The oath is nothing other than an attempt by the ANC to, through their failed political ideology and flawed contemplation of history, try to indoctrinate vulnerable school children with a permanent guilt complex. It is directed at the past and not at the future and will not be promoting nation building, but will rather be dividing people,” said Dr Pieter Mulder, the leader of the Freedom Front Plus.


Another Freedom Front Plus MP, Pieter Groenewald, in his speech during the special debate in parliament about the proposed pledge, pointed out that “A big fuss is made of the fact that the oath starts with the preamble of the constitution. Only the first part of the preamble of the constitution, which refers to the past, is being used. The second part of the preamble which gives recognition and says, ‘We respect those who have worked to build and develop our country; and believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity’, is left out. That part the Minister [Pandor] does not want to say.” We can easily guess why she preferred to leave that part out! To include it would be an acknowledgment that white South Africans, who did so much to build and develop SA, should be respected, and that SA belongs to white South Africans as much as it does to black South Africans!


Continuing with his speech, Groenewald, a white South African, said: “Even now the Minister does not want to say why it is left out but she asks whether it [the oath] makes us feel guilty about our past. I would like, very clearly, to say to the Minister: not the Minister nor the whole of the ANC will make me feel ashamed of my past. I say to you – I am proud of my history.” To which we say, “Hear, hear!” White South Africans need to stand up boldly and look the ANC in the face and refuse to be cowed, or made to feel guilty about their past. They do not need to! The history of the whites in SA, like the history of all men everywhere in the world, has aspects which decent men would not be proud of; but taken as a whole, the history of the whites in SA is something which every decent white South African can rejoice in.


Groenewald went on: “The white youth and children are today the victims of affirmative action. They weren’t even born in the time of apartheid. But they have to confess their guilt? The Minister’s slip is showing. You want to institute the Pandor oath to indoctrinate our children and create a guilt complex in them that their past and therefore their origin have only been evil and wrong.”

2) The second reason why no true Christian should ever permit his children to recite this pledge, is because the constitution is utterly opposed to various biblical commandments and principles; and yet the words of the pledge are, “We sincerely declare that we shall uphold the rights and values of our Constitution”. Such a sentence no true Christian can permit his child to recite.

3) A third reason is this: there is no doubt that what the ANC intends doing, by this pledge, is to further entrench its own religious cult – the cult of the State – in true Communist fashion; for this pledge for schoolchildren is an oath of allegiance to South Africa’s secular humanist constitution. The ANC has exalted its constitution to the position of “supreme law”, which is totally unacceptable to any Christian. Chapter 1 of the constitution actually says: “This Constitution is the supreme law of the Republic; law or conduct inconsistent with it is invalid, and the obligations imposed by it must be fulfilled.” No true Christian can ever accept such a statement.

Asked at a media briefing if she envisaged objections by parents, Pandor replied, “I am not aware of a single parent who has said they want to opt out of the constitution, so I cannot imagine that any parent would not want their child to say these words.” Well, whether she is aware of it or not, or can imagine such a thing or not, it’s a fact! Thousands upon thousands of South Africans do not agree with the constitution! No true Christian could ever support the constitution in its present form, for it removes true freedom of religion, criminalises certain aspects of Christianity, protects the right to life of murderers and rapists yet denies the right to life of unborn children, and opens the door to pornography and same-sex “marriage”. It also claims to be the supreme law, and for the Christian this is impossible, for the Bible takes precedence over any earthly constitution. The Marxist ANC assumed that once a constitution was produced, the entire country would be behind it. How wrong they were. And now they are wrong about the “Pandor Pledge” as well.

A letter published in the Weekend Witness on February 23 was excellent:
“Naledi Pandor, the national Minister of Education, wants to use children to save a nation plunged into moral darkness. Shouldn’t she start in Parliament? She and her colleagues should stand up every morning with raised fists and recite a pledge like this:
“I shall not steal, rape or enrich myself at the expense of the poor; be swayed, influenced or bribed with brandy or travel vouchers; be avaricious, over-indulge in food, wine or pleasures of the flesh and go reeking of alcohol to Parliament.... I shall not be above the law and lie through my gold-filled teeth. I shall not... covet another’s possession or his buxom wife. Furthermore, I shall lead by example and will not jump the queue or demand preferential treatment because of my worldly status...”
Indeed. Physician, heal thyself!

Not content with her pathetic pledge, Pandor next announced that schoolchildren will also be taught a Bill of Responsibilities along with the Bill of Rights! The bill, which was mostly drawn up by the “National Religious Leaders’ Forum” (a liberal interfaith body of blind leaders of the blind), includes the responsibility of ensuring the “right” to equality, human dignity, life, family, parental care and education. It also includes responsibilities to ensure the “right” to work, freedom and security, property, freedom of religion, and a safe environment.


Of course, the whole notion of “rights” is an unbiblical one in the first place, and was born in secular humanism. Not only that, many of the very “rights” mentioned are nonsense anyway, in South Africa! Take the “right” to equality – whites, and particularly white males, are not equal with blacks in SA. Then there is the “right” to life – children will be expected to ensure this “right”, and yet it is not granted to the unborn, for abortion is legal in SA. As for “family” rights, they have been stripped by removing parental discipline, allowing “same-sex” families, etc. The “right” to freedom and security is a joke, given that SA has the highest crime rate on earth. And the “right” to freedom of religion has been removed in reality, by the many, many laws that mean religious freedom no longer truly exists in SA!
And the preamble to the “Bill of Responsibilities” is as bad as the Pandor Pledge! It reads: “I accept the call to responsibility that comes with the many rights and freedoms that I have been privileged to inherit from the sacrifice and suffering of those who came before me.” There they go again – praising the ANC revolutionaries who used the barrel of a gun, and the diabolical “necklacing” murder method, to finally come to power in SA!

What then should be done about this Pandor Pledge?
Ideally, for those parents who can, they should homeschool their children. But if this is not possible, for various reasons, then parents should simply teach their children to ignore the pledge, when it is recited in schools. When the time comes for the pledge to be recited, they should say nothing. Yes, this could result in trouble for both children and parents; but a stand has to be made. A line has to be drawn in the sand. Obedience to the government is required of all Christians (Rom. 13:1-7), but not when the government commands something sinful. Then, Christians are to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29), even if there are consequences for doing so.
March 2008

Shaun Willcock is a minister of the Gospel and lives in South Africa. He runs Bible Based Ministries. For other articles (which may be downloaded and printed), as well as details about his books, audio messages, pamphlets, etc., please visit the Bible Based Ministries website, or write to the address below. If you would like to be on Bible Based Ministries’ electronic mailing list, to receive all future articles, please send your details.


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