Eugene Terreblanche 'killers' in South Africa court Skip to main content

Eugene Terreblanche 'killers' in South Africa court

AWB supporters at Ventersdorp court
The AWB has retracted a threat to take revenge for the killing

Two South Africans are due to be formally charged with the murder of white supremacist Eugene Terreblanche.
The two farm workers, aged 28 and 15, have admitted beating him to death in a dispute over unpaid wages, police say.
About 200 supporters of Terreblanche's paramilitary AWB group have gathered at the court, and small crowds from the local black community are also there.
The BBC's Pumza Fihlani in the town of Ventersdorp says police had to separate the two groups after a minor scuffle.
An AWB supporter
The police had to prevent scuffles from escalating
The officers built a barbed-wire barricade to keep them apart, says our reporter.
The court proceedings are not in public because one of the accused is a minor.
The killing has raised racial tensions in the country and AWB supporters at the court are refusing to speak to black journalists.
The AWB (Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging or Afrikaner Resistance Movement) had threatened to take revenge for Terreblanche's killing, but retracted their threat on Monday.
Pumza Fihlani
Pumza Fihlani
BBC News, Ventersdorp
Hundreds of AWB flags are flying and Afrikaner nationalist songs are playing as hundreds of Afrikaners protest outside the court.
Some 200 police officers have formed a human barricade around the court. There is a smaller group from the local black community.
Tension fills the air as both groups begin to sing songs linked to their race - Afrikaners singing the old national anthem - the black group responded with anti-apartheid songs.
Many Afrikaners say the murder is proof of a "siege" against farmers in South Africa. There are placards in green and red ink, some accusing former President FW de Klerk of "selling out Afrikaners" to the blacks, referring to his partnership with Nelson Mandela to end apartheid.
Pieter Steyn, an AWB leader, said the organisation had called for calm and anyone who disregarded this call would not be acting on behalf of the organisation.
"Everybody has adhered to our request to remain cool," he told AFP news agency.
"As soon as the court proceedings are completed, we will all disperse and go home and gather again on Friday for the funeral."
The group blames ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema for contributing to the killing by recently singing a song from the anti-apartheid struggle called "Shoot the Boer".
Boer is an Afrikaans word for farmer, which has become a derogatory term for all white people.
Mr Malema has denied any responsibility for Terreblanche's death and the ANC argues that the song does not incite people to kill but is part of the country's history and the fight against white minority rule.

It is planning to appeal against a court judgement banning the song as hate speech.
The authorities are keen to stress that the killing was not politically motivated.
President Jacob Zuma has appealed for calm and condemned the killing.
Terreblanche, 69, was fiercely opposed to the end of apartheid in South Africa, which led to the ANC winning the country's first democratic elections in 1994 and Nelson Mandela becoming the country's first black president.
He served three years in jail after being convicted in 2001 of the attempted murder of a farm worker.



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