Sunday, March 22, 2015

Facing evil and moving on

There is a fascinating op-ed piece in the New York Times
Can an Evil Man Change?The Repentance of Eugene de Kock by Antjie Krog

If more than 30 years ago you had told this story many would say it was a fiction or a movie script: that apartheid would end peacefully in South Africa,
that rather than violence and retribution, there would be a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, where perpetrators of human rights violation could confess and receive amnesty,
that one of most evil perpetrators, Eugene de Kock, would co-operate with the families on his victims, ...

Yet it is true.

The following is particularly disturbing.
After the famous black-consciousness leader, Steve Biko, died in jail in 1977, opposition to apartheid grew. The National Party government realized it could no longer afford the political and economic consequences of activists dying in police custody. So, to continue its dirty work invisibly, a secret counterinsurgency unit was established on a farm called Vlakplaas. In 1983 Mr. de Kock became its commander, and it was from here that he and his men planned the deaths, kidnappings and torture of many anti-apartheid activists. 
When former President F.W. de Klerk released Nelson Mandela and lifted the ban on the black opposition parties in 1990, Mr. de Kock was secretly ordered to increase the appearance of black-on-black violence in order to discredit the liberation movements. His squad killed black activists with Russian weapons to implicate the military wing of Mr. Mandela’s party, the African National Congress. They captured black liberation movement soldiers, torturing them until they “turned” and could be used as hit men. This led to a sudden escalation of deaths of black people.
It worth reading the rest of the article to see what then unfolds.

Can such a person be forgiven? Should they ever be released from prison?

There are many complex issues here.

But, it brings to mind the most shocking "injustice" ever, something some can never accept, that God will forgive any sin or anyone.

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