Tuesday, 29 September 2009

The Elim Mission Massacre: Lest We Forget



"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana

We received an exceptionally poignant response to the earlier posting on the Hanyani Disaster. I felt it befitting to share this response with a larger audience. At the same time, I want to draw your attention to the Elim Mission Massacre, which took place in Rhodesia in June 1978. You might ask what relevance any of this has. It goes to show the inherent capacity black Africa has to commit the most barbaric acts of violence against whites. This is the type of fate waiting to befall many South Africans.

We would do very well to NEVER forget the treachery and barbarism we have lived with for over three hundred years, and the extremely thin veneer of civility that covers it.

To quote a well known verse from Laurence Binyons poem "The Fallen":

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

And that is our duty. To remember them. All of them.

From the frontier farmer killed by the Xhosa in 1700 to Piet Retief to those killed in the Church Street Bombing to the farmer and his wife who were killed last night. Every drop of our nations blood that has been spilled by these stone-age savages will be remembered.

WE WILL REMEMBER THEM. ALL OF THEM.

Our benevolence and kindness is turning into mourning. When it is finished; when the white man has no more tears to shed; when he has no more good to give; when all his goodness and kindness has been stripped from him; when he has nothing left but hate; there will be a recompense; blood for blood, tear for tear, blow for blow, bruise for bruise, cut for cut.

We will remember...

We will repay...

Be warned, the following article is graphic, heart wrenching and achingly similar to the atrocities being meted out on our people everyday, 31 years later. Do not proceed further if you cannot stomach the truth.

On the night of June 23, 1978, Elim Mission in the Rhodesian Eastern Highlands was subjected to the worst massacre of missionaries yet experienced. Terry Blocksidge reported in the Sunday Mail (Salisbury).

Eight British missionaries and four young children - including a three-week-old baby - were bayoneted to death by terrorists on Rhodesia’s Eastern border on Friday night in the worst massacre of whites since the six-year-old war began.

Three of the missionaries were men and the others women.

A sixth woman was stabbed and beaten and left for dead. She staggered 300 m into the freezing Vumba bush to spend the night before being found semi-conscious by security forces yesterday. Despite intensive care in a Salisbury hospital she subsequently died.

The gruesome murders, by a group of eight to 10 terrorists, happened at Emmanuel Mission School - 15 km south-east of Umtali and 8 km from the Mozambique border - once used as the Eagle boarding school.

The dead, who belonged to the Elim Pentecostal Church, were:

* Mr. Peter McCann (30), his wife, Sandra (also 30), son Phillip (6) and daughter Joy (5).

* The Rev. Phillip Evans (29), his wife, Suzan (35), and their daughter Rebecca (4).

* Mr. Roy Lynn (37), his wife, Joyce (36), and their daughter Pamela Grace. She would have been three weeks old yesterday.

* Catherine Picken (55) and Elizabeth Wendy Hamilton- White (37).

* Miss Mary Fisher (28).

Most of the women had been sexually assaulted, and one mutilated.

The children had been dragged from their beds. Two children were in yellow pyjamas, one with a red dressing gown, and a third in a flowery nightdress.

One child had her tiny thumbs clenched in her palms.

Even hardened security men were stunned by the bloody scene and stood around silently. “The quiet is uncanny”, said one.

Mr. Brian Chapman, director of the Church in Rhodesia and South Africa, visited the scene yesterday. He said: “We saw no humanity here.”

The massacre began shortly before 8.30 p.m. when the white families were forced by the terrorists from their homes and classrooms, and marched to a playing field.

Near the sports pavilion, about 400 m from the main school, they were split into groups, then beaten with lengths of wood and logs, and stabbed.

When security forces reached the scene yesterday, the full horror on the cold, mist-and-rain shrouded Vumba mountainside confronted them:

A mother, beaten to death, lay with her young baby. The baby had also been savagely beaten.

Their arms stretched out to each other, their hands resting an inch apart. The child’s hand was clenched.

The mother had a hand squeezed tightly around her engagement ring, turned into her palm, as she reached for her baby in her dying moments.

Nearby, another woman had died from an axe-wound - the weapon still protruded from her shoulder and two men, one with his hands tied behind his back, lay beaten and slashed to death.

A blood-soaked chunk of wood had been dropped near to them.

Three children lay in a pitiful huddle, with two women’s bodies next to them.

Some had raised their arms to defend themselves from the brutal blows.

The reactions of the media in general were predictable, with many newspapers being singularly outspoken. The Citizen of South Africa had this to say on June 26:

Non-violence in many ways is being practised by the Patriotic Front. I asked one of their commanders, Tongogara, what they actually do in Rhodesia, and he said they’re not doing much fighting, except when they are fired upon, or when the Rhodesian defence forces find them and try to run them out.

“Basically what they are doing is moving around the villages and conducting political seminars and singing songs.”

So says Mr. Andrew Young, United States Ambassador to the United Nations, in a recent interview with the London Times.

This weekend, in the worst atrocity committed against white civilians in the history of Rhodesia’s six-year war, terrorists of Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe National Liberation Army hacked and battered to death almost the entire white staff and their families at the Elim Pentacostal Mission in the Eastern border mountains.

Mr. Young is asked: “Does Mr. Mugabe strike you as a violent man?”

He replies: “Not at all, he’s a very gentle man. In fact, one of the ironies of the whole struggle is that I can’t imagine Joshua Nkomo, or Robert Mugabe, ever pulling the trigger on a gun to kill anyone. I doubt that they ever have…. The violent people are Smith’s people and hopefully they won’t be around for the new Zimbabwe.”

This weekend, when local and international journalists arrived at the scene of the massacre 15 km from Umtali and less than 7 km from the Mozambique border, the mutilated and blood-stained bodies of three men, four women and five children - including a three-week-old baby - were lying as they had been found that morning.

Mr. Young is asked how he gets on with Mr. Mugabe.

He replies: “I find that I am fascinated by his intelligence, by his dedication. The only thing that frustrates me about Robert Mugabe is that he is so damned incorruptible…. The problem is he was educated by the Jesuits, and when you get the combination of a Jesuit and a Marxist kind of philosophy merging in one person, you’ve got a hell of a guy to deal with.”

This weekend, one of the newspapermen who flew to the scene of the massacre reported: “The bodies lay in clusters round the school’s cricket pavilion. The victims had all been foully abused. All but one of the four adult women had been raped and left semi-naked on the grass.”

Mr. Young tells of the “deep-seated humanism” of a young man who told him: “I started killing at 14 and when you kill and when you realize you could be killed for something that you believe in, you learn that there’s nothing more precious and valuable than human life.”

This weekend, at the scene of the massacre, correspondents reported that the “victims were beyond help, with axe wounds scarring their bodies, bayonet thrusts deep in their backs, and skulls crushed by knobkerries or lengths of thick wood.

Shocked and angry troops viewed the carnage and quietly cursed the terrorists. One man had tears in his eyes as he muttered: ‘The bastards. They are nothing better than animals. How could they do this?

Yet these are the terrorists whom men like Andy Young support.

The tragedy of Africa is not just that such savagery still persists.

It is that terrorism has been given respectability. That the men with the guns are regarded as freedom fighters, as liberators, when they are no more than thugs and animals.

When will the World Council of Churches appreciate that it must stop aiding men who kill and maim the innocents?

When will our local political priests accept that it is time to condemn, instead of support, such forces of evil?

When will Mr. Andy Young and people like him realize that every man, woman or child who dies at Elim or at Kolwezi, or anywhere else on this dark continent, is a victim of insensate hate and barbarism?

When will they back the forces of peace, of tolerance, of goodwill, instead of supporting the brutal and beastly terrorists?

Source:I Luv South Africa Blog
http://iluvsa.blogspot.com/2009/09/elim-mission-massacre-lest-we-forget.html
http://www.publiuspundit.com/?p=851

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