In 1996 Project “Ukuthula” (Zulu for “Peace”) was launched. Michael Cassidy, Bishop Matthew Makhaye and Bishop Mmutlanyane Mogoba worked with Nelson Mandela towards a peaceful Provincial Election in KwaZulu-Natal, during a time when 20 people a day in KwaZulu-Natal were dying in conflict between African National Congress (ANC) and Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP). In fact the whole election process was in jeopardy. “We politicians cannot fix this thing,” confessed the President, “maybe you Church people can do it.” The three Christian leaders were in almost daily contact with KwaZulu-Natal Premier Frank Mdlalose, Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini and other key players on different sides of the conflict, as well as a couple of times a week with President Mandela.

In the next six weeks, led by Church leaders and African Enterprise, the Christians of KwaZulu-Natal were activated into the mechanisms of peace-making and reconciliation. Christians in the police, the military, the media, schools, industry, business or wherever, were urged to change the rhetoric of violence and talk peace and pursue it. Once again, as in 1994, mul­titudes in the churches committed it all constantly to prayer.

As Project “Ukuthula” advanced so the death rate in KwaZulu-Natal dwindled. By the time the elections were due, the daily death rate was down to zero. As the provincial elections went ahead in peace, Time magazine commented on three of the most peaceful days in KwaZulu-Natal in several years.


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