Link: Eugene Terre'blanche murdered [News 24]
One of the most hated men in South Africa has been murdered on his farm in Ventersdorp this evening. Eugène Terre'Blanche founded the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging, a far right wing, paramilitary organisation in 1973. Known as the AWB, the name means the ‘Afrikaner Resistance Movement’ but they are known in South Africa as racists and white supremacists. The AWB has long since rallied for a separate state for white, Afrikaans Boers (farmers) and in fact, there is a town called Orania which is their attempt at a self-governing homeland.
I find this murder extremely problematic in light of the events of the past couple of weeks*. The hyper-summarised version of events is that the leader of the African National Congress Youth League (the youth league of the ruling party) is a man called Julius Malema. He is extremely controversial and a convicted hate mongerer. In March 2010, Julius Malema sang a variation of the hateful and extremely offensive song “Kill The Boer” at a rally at a university campus.
It is important to note that the ANC is the ruling party of South Africa but lines had never been drawn strictly according to colour or race. Yes, the ANC furthered the cause of black liberation and consciousness in the Apartheid years but as the ruling party of South Africa, the ANC is to promote the interests of all citizens regardless of age, gender, colour, race or creed.
The fact that Julius Malema is singing such a song, a song that had previously been defined as hate speech by the South African Human Rights Commission, is beyond wrong. The debacle that followed is even more wrong. From Wikipedia:
“The Southern Gauteng High Court ruled on 26 March 2010 that Malema's song (which he had continued singing at public gatherings) was "unconstitutional and unlawful", and that any person singing it could face charges of incitement to murder, stating that the song called for the killing of the "farmer/white man", however, the ANC defended the song.
The ANC announced it would appeal the ruling. The Northern Gauteng High Court, on 1 April 2010 then granted an interdict preventing Malema from uttering the words "shoot the boer", or from "uttering any song of a similar nature which incites violence" until the matter was heard by the Equality Court, to which the case was referred by the presiding judge” - Wikipedia
Some South Africans say that Malema has gone too far now and will begin to naturally lose supporters. In other words, give him enough rope and he’ll hang himself. I disagree. In Rwanda, media outlets and radio stations called to people to “eliminate the cockroaches”; this man is calling on people to kill white South Africans, specifically farmers. I categorically disagree with claims that the current crime wave in South Africa constitutes a genocide but I believe that this is a clear and unambiguous call to do just that.
So. Back to the murder of the leader of the far-right wing AWB movement Eugène Terre'Blanche. Initial police reports state that it is not politically motivated and that Terre’Blanche simply got into an argument with two farm labourers aged 16 and 21 who have already been arrested. Unfortunately, I don’t think it is all as easy as that. I think this is extremely bad timing. At worst, it is a politically and racially motivated murder. If not, it is still another farm murder and too many farmers have been killed on their farms.
Incidentally, the incident coincides with Julius Malema’s arrival in Harare, where he was given a heroes welcome by a Zanu-PF crowd singing “Kill The Boer” (see: Zanu-PF sings Malema song).
Cry, The Beloved Country indeed.
*Admittedly, I have been trying my best to ignore those events as it can be difficult to follow homeland politics when you are an expat and living 5000 miles away. In short, I find them too distressing to cover usually.