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Plaut on racial tensions, sick politics, terrible stats and a worst case scenario:

For most South Africans, Eugene Terre’Blanche was a throwback to another era. But his death is a blow to the country’s image of racial tolerance, fostered so carefully by Nelson Mandela.

Some are likely to believe that the fact that his alleged attackers were arrested so rapidly smacks of a cover-up. Others, on the minority far-right fringe, will see his death as a vindication of their assertion that whites cannot live under black rule.

It is a tragic fact that more than 3,000 white farmers have been murdered since the end of apartheid in 1994. And it is possible that some people may seek retribution.

Mr Terreblanche’s funeral could become a rallying point for such sentiment.

Source: Terre’Blanche death brings Zuma appeal for calm, Sunday, 4 April 2010

UPDATED: Ben sent over the link for SnagFilm’s page for the full-length documentary The Leader, his Driver, and the Driver’s Wife.

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Terre’Blanche was beaten and hacked to death in his home yesterday. The violence is no less horrific than that meted out by supporters of Terre’Blanche’s A.W.B. Party upon Black South Africans. On one occasion, A.W.B. members confronted Black miners as they surfaced at the pit-head after their shift and attacked them with clubs and machetes.

Terre’Blanche instigated many acts of heinous violence and murder. Terre’Blanche was also a terrorist. The Guardian:

In 1998, Terre’Blanche accepted “political and moral responsibility” before South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission for a bombing campaign to disrupt the 1994 elections in which 21 people were killed and hundreds injured.

Terre’Blanche’s A.W.B. Party was separatist and outside of the political mainstream but that doesn’t mean Terre’Blanche himself was disconnected from the apartheid era government of the 1980s and 90s. The A.W.B. existed for so long (since 1973) because of a constant fringe element willing to embrace white supremacist politics in South Africa

The Leader, his Driver, and the Driver’s Wife

In 1991, my favourite documentary maker Nick Broomfield, made The Leader, his Driver, and the Driver’s Wife. This film is available to UK readers on Channel 4 and for the rest of us on Youtube in seven parts.

Throughout the documentary, Broomfield drops in rumors and reports of sporadic violence by A.W.B. members against Black men, women and children. These matter-of-fact inserts, along with the run around he himself experiences as a working-journalist, is the volatile and irrational world in which Terre’Blanche’s racist rhetoric thrived.

When murdered, Terre’Blanche was 69 years old. The manner in which he antagonised and brutalised other humans about him, it is a wonder he lasted that long.

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Note: I highly recommend Broomfield’s work, particularly Biggie and Tupac.


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