Because They Chose the Plan of God
By Robert Edgar
On May 24, 1921, 800 white police and soldiers were sent to forcibly remove a group of 'Israelites' from their holy village of Ntabelanga in Eastern Cape, South Africa. The Israelites, who were led by an African prophet named Enoch Mgijima, could not come to an agreement with the police, and a clash erupted between the two sides. The police had rifles, machine guns, and cannons, while the Israelites were armed only with sticks, swords, and spears. Within 20 minutes, nearly 200 Israelites lay dead, with many more wounded. This event would soon be called the 'Bulhoek Massacre.' Why did this tragedy happen? Why did the Israelites settle at Ntabelanga? Why did the government oppose them? Why did the government decide to send an armed force to expel the Israelites from their holy village? Why were the Israelites prepared to face this force on the plain outside Ntabelanga? How did government museums and memorials portrayed the Bulhoek Massacre before 1994, and then afterwards? Because They Chose the Plan of God examines these questions. Including 30 rare photographs, this revised edition looks at the history of Enoch Mgijima and his followers, the Israelites, and brings to life this episode in South African history.
Publication Date: 4/1/2010