Apr 4, 2010

Eugene Terreblanche Hacked to Death on His Sleep

Johannesburg, South Africa (CNN) -- The right wing, white supremist leader, Eugene Terreblanche was probably one of the most divisive and least likable characters in recent South African history.

Not many people in South Africa would disagree with that. One newspaper editor called him "a violent racist" others have called his far right wing views "distasteful in the extreme."

However, his apparent murder on his farm has left many South Africans cold and fearful that this beautiful but deeply troubled country is again in the grip of racial hatred.

Terreblanche's killing comes soon after a senior figure within the ruling African National Congress, Julius Malema, was barred by a judge from singing the anti-apartheid song, "Kill the Boer" or "Kill the farmer."

The court ruled the song was tantamount to "hate speech." But the ruling party and its allies came out in defense of the song's violent lyrics, saying it reflected their heritage and struggle for freedom against the white apartheid government.

And then the man who represented the worst of that old, apartheid South Africa is bludgeoned and hacked to death on his farm. He was apparently attacked while taking an afternoon nap.

The connection was bound to be made; the coincidence just too much for racially sensitive South Africans.

They are asking -- did that song incite two young men to kill the archetypal "Boer?" Was his death more than a criminal incident over unpaid wages?

And will there now be reprisals against black South Africans by the small number of Terreblanche supporters, who will see him as a martyr?

For many here, the atmosphere now smacks of those scary, dark days before South Africans voted for a new democratic South Africa in 1994 -- when the white man and the black man were so suspicious of each other that many thought this country's transition to democracy would be violent and bloody.

But South Africans were led out of the twisted spectre of racial hatred by Nelson Mandela -- whose leadership and calm management prevented a potentially explosive conflict.

Mandela is now an old man, who cannot be expected to quell another rising tide of hatred and it is now left to a new generation of South African leaders to heed the lessons which he taught them 16 years ago.

But the bonds of nationhood that Mandela strived to build are still fragile and many in South Africa fear that Terreblanche could be even more divisive in death than he was in life -- and tear apart a nation still struggling to let go of the past.


amadmike1 said...

This is a beautiful site!

Gwendolyn H. Barry said...

A good post.
I think it's important to keep watching the ups and downs of a South Africa that is still trying to determine it's identity ... what it does remind me - is that 50 years after human and civil rights were addressed here in America and violence thrashed out the way forward into a society where my nephew has no true feeling of racism against African Americans (or of other different races)... we were struck just in the last few weeks as HCR was passed in the House ... by racism, haters and all degenerative ignorance that footholds in certain political parties. We are able to survive and evolve, I am certain. Even as it seems we devolve in the actions of those on the steps of the House. I'm hopeful that South Africa has the same kind of social and ethical stamina. It was only a 'few'... not a majority. On both counts.
An an important observation, this bit of news, Vig.

Vigilante said...

Ms Barry, as ever your focus & comments put the finishing touches on my posts.

The one additional issue that I see raised herein is the danger in our country of left wing vigilante groups trying to lynch fascist militia/terrorist types like human scumbag, Scott Roeder. Prosecution by due process is the best thing for them: let them do 'a hard 50', and let them rot in prison until such time as everyone has forgotten their name.

This asshole in South Africa is now a martyr.

Khakjaan Wessington said...

The Design and Bed of Our Penal Colony [Today's News Poem, April 4, 2010]
“There have been more than 3,000 murders of Afrikaner farmers in remote homesteads like this since the end of apartheid 16 years ago.”
--BBC, 18:58 GMT, Sunday, 4 April 2010 19:58 UK
“With an attitude of respect and concern for other beings, we can create an atmosphere of happiness, real harmony and real brotherhood.”
--The Dalai Lama, Twitter, about 12 hours ago via web as of 2:38pm PST

White power sleeps and never dies,
It simply make a compromise.
To pause the never-ending war.
The other races seek to score
In turn. The tribal instinct stays,
For human beings will never stray
Too far from those they think as kin.
The eye, it lies. They think the skin
Has deeper bonds than blood they share.
The science (if you must compare)
Confirms that which one ought expect
To hear from self when ones reflects
On totems; such as anger, rage.
Unless one seeks to self-engage
And not excuse the whim or gene
With reason—with our great machines—
Unless we make an atmosphere
Of harmony, we make the gears
Of something that will evermore
Both dig and fill the earth it scores.


Vigilante said...