With Mandela’s 90th birthday coming up, a lot of South Africans out there will be getting more nervous by the day, all as a result of an urban legend that has been doing the rounds for ages, called ‘Nag van die lang messe’ (Night of the long knives), which originated from visions by Siener van Rensburg.
In short, one of the visions of Van Rensburg predicts that as soon as Nelson Mandela dies, all the black people in the country are going to slaughter the white people… As an article on World Net Daily states, “One of the operations planned entails 70,000 armed black men ‘being transported to the Johannesburg city center within an hour’ in taxicabs to attack whites… Sources say most blacks in the country are aware of the plans. When racial disputes occur, blacks often tell whites, ‘Wait until Mandela dies.’ … The article also goes on quoting someone saying: “I have prepared myself and we have a gathering place where we can fortify for four weeks after Mandela’s death…If nothing happens it will be a miracle.”
Apparently the killing will move to Pretoria from there (Johannesburg), and that will be the sign to the rest of the black people in the country to kill the rest of the whites. Even more astounding, is that it is said by these prophets of doom that the blacks are getting impatient with Mandela not dieing! And that a while ago some of them were on the verge of starting with the killings, and had to be stopped by taxi-drivers! How ludicrous. It is blatently obvious that by far the most people in the country, regardless of their colour, absolutely adores Nelson Mandela.
As can be expected, there are tons of debate surrounding the issue, and this forum is just a typical example of this. These rumours are mostly rife among Afrikaans people, but plenty of English are also concerned, as is evident by forums like these. However, on a predominantly Afrikaans pop-culture website called Litnet, I found an article that I tend to agree with, saying that the people who are the most aware of colour and race, are the ones who know the least about that specific race and culture.
Personally I don’t believe in any of these rumours, but find it interesting how urban legends and fear can drive people to behave totally unreasonably and illogically. And I don’t even want to think how these people are going to react the day that Mandela does unfortunately pass away… I have a feeling that it will be them creating all the chaos.