While mourners streamed to the farm of slain AWB leader Eugene Terre’Blanche, 66, to lay flowers, soft toys and letters, the leadership of his organisation declared war, saying they will avenge his murder.
Andre Visagie, secretary general of the AWB, was one of many supporters who came to Ventersdorp. “It is with deep disgust that we learnt about this murder. Almost every day for the past 14 days a white farmer has been murdered.
“We cannot rely on the government to protect us. We don’t even have the law on our side. “Julius Malema spreads hate speech, regardless of a court order, and nothing is done,” Visagie said. President Jacob Zuma had phoned him yesterday morning to get Terre’Blanche’s wife’s number, Visagie said.
But he wanted to know: “What does he want to do with it now? If Malema was reprimanded, it would not have been necessary for Zuma to convey his condolences to the Terre’Blanche family.” Terre’Blanche’s alleged killers were aged under 30, youths who Malema enticed, Visagie said. “We will use every possible way to defend ourselves. If they attack us with violence, we will act in the same manner.”
Referring to claims that the murder was caused by a wage dispute, Visagie said it was unlikely workers would go to their employer on a Saturday night, days after payday, armed with a pipe and a panga.
“It doesn’t make sense to kill your employer, then you won’t be able to take the dispute through the legal process. “The same goes for Malema’s song. When Peter Mokaba sang it, it was never mentioned that it was a traditional struggle song.” Visagie said he had known Terre’Blanche for 26 years, calling him a bosom friend. The AWB was looking forward to seeing if Terre’Blanche’s killers would be treated the same as Chris Hani’s killers, Visagie said.
Terre’Blanche and his wife, Martie, lived in town and he travelled daily to the farm. Outside the farm gate, a few kilometres from the town, foreign media and mourners gathered. A huge Vierkleur flag covered the gate strung with yellow “crime scene” tape.
Flowers and letters were placed next to the gate, with notes reading: “Ons vir jou Suid-Afrika” and “We are crying with you”. The Israeli flag with “Ethnic cleansing? Afrikaner genocide?” written on it, was displayed next to a German flag with the words: “Silent War Help”.
There was a heavy police presence with members from Rustenburg, Potchefstroom and Pretoria assisting their Ventersdorp colleagues. By late afternoon the media and crowd were asked to move away from the gate, as the investigators were coming out with “sensitive evidence” from the farm house.
Another farmer said that by killing farmers, the whole country’s economy was suffering. In the town a petrol attendant said: “It doesn’t matter what the colour. This man had a wife and a family. It is about someone being murdered.”
Another said: “I’m not a fan of Terre’Blanche, but this was very, very stupid. I fear big sh*t is coming to our country.” Many believed the attackers were “sent”. Although funeral arrangements have not been finalised yet, it is believed the AWB leader will be laid to rest in the family cemetery on the farm.
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