Tensions were high at a Ventersdorp Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday morning in South Africa where two black men accused of murdering a leader of the far right wing Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) organization where due to appear.
Terre’Blannche, known for his paramilitary-style horseback parades and
called for a separate white homeland was allegedly killed by his
employees; a 21-year-old man and a 15-year-old boy, on his farm on
Saturday night. The two farm workers have claimed that Terre’Blanche refused to pay them their monthly salaries of R350 rand each.
Terre’Blanche’s death angered the ultra-right wing party which blamed
ANC Youth League president Julius Malema for inciting racial hatred by
singing a struggle song containing the words “shoot the boer”. But while in Harare, Zimbabwe on Monday Malema denied the accusations saying he has nothing to do with his death.
The murder shocked President Jacob Zuma who made two statements
calling for calm.
There are concerns the murder could worsen racial tensions in the country after one leading member of a white supremacist group said on Sunday the slaying of their leader was “a declaration of war” by blacks against whites and warned the killing would be avenged.
Radical members called on World Cup bound nations in June not to send
teams as they would be travelling “to a land of murder”.
Morning reports indicate that police armoured vehicles were parked
“nose to nose” at the court’s entrance, in anticipation of what is expected to be an emotion-filled appearance. The crowd of onlookers outside the court is waiting patiently for the outcome of the hearing, reports say.
Earlier television footage from several news channels showed blacks and whites clashing outside the court forcing police to separate the groups with razor wire. Reports say scores of people outside court bore placards reading: “Hunting farmers; free licences issued by ANC”; “Soccer 2010, 65 days till chaos”.
Police erected a razor wire fence between the two groups after the
altercation. The situation had calmed by 12pm.
According to one news report, AWB Pieter Steyn spokesperson told huge
crowd of mosty whites outside the court that all they want “is a piece
of land for our people to govern and call it our own and govern ourselves with our religion … and our own laws,” said Steyn.
“We want a volkstaat [people’s state], according to our own way and we
don’t want any Nigerians, drug lords, rapists, murderers or anyone
else there … that’s all we want,” he added.