South Africa: Eugene Terreblanche’s murder will be no threat to World Cup
After the murder of white extremist, far-right leader Eugene Terreblanche, who was butchered to death by his farm workers on Saturday, the South African government gave full safety guarantees for the World Cup. The African country suffers an average of 50 homicides a day and it has been preparing in terms of security for the World Cup – due in 65 days – for a long time.
The Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB) leader was murdered Saturday at the age of 69 while in bed on his northwest farm in an attack that has increased race tensions in the African nation, and led white supremacist groups to launch calls for vengeance and calls upon the international community not to send their football teams to the World Cup as the country has become “a land of murder.”
But supporters of a murdered white supremacist today withdrew their threat of violence as South Africa sought to allay safety fears prior to the summer’s football World Cup. Pieter Steyn, a general in the AWB, said: “Our membership is very, very shocked, angry and horrified. In the heat of the moment, certain statements were made and I would like to retract those statements.
“It is the philosophy of the AWB that no member will engage in any form of violence, intimidation, racial slandering or anything of that matter. It is, however, very difficult to contain our members and keep them calm.”
Steyn said the AWB “is not going to engage in any form of violent retaliation to avenge Mr Terre’Blanche’s death”, adding: “We appeal for people to remain calm.”
According to police, Terreblanche was bludgeoned to death in his farm in Ventersdorp, west of Johannesburg, by two of his black workers, in an apparent wages dispute. Terreblanche was found in his bed, with wounds to his face and head, while the alleged murderers, two young men of 15 and 21, were arrested.
Andre Visagie, a senior member of the Weerstands-Beweging, Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB), which led Terreblanche, had said that “the death of Terreblanche is a declaration of war by the black community of South Africa to the white community, which has been killed during 10 consecutive years. “
Sixteen years after the end to the apartheid regime, South Africa remains a country where skin color is still a factor of segregation.
On the other hand, Security Minister Nathi Mthetwa stated that Terreblanche’s killing “will not directly affect the World Cup. Tourists’ safety is ensured.”
“This is a World Cup for everyone, not only for the country’s black population. And we must give full support. We believe that our compatriots in the AWB should do what other African patriots do,” said Jackson Mthembu, national spokesman for the African National Congress (ANC) in power.
“With the plans we’ve put in place, we’ve got a tough stand in the fight against crime,” he said.
The two murder suspects will appear in court tomorrow, as the government seeks to clarify that the incident occurred strictly by a pay dispute and it was not a racist attack.
Terreblanche, a disciple of Adolf Hitler, always represented the South African far right, even under the racist apartheid regime, which fell in 1994 when Nelson Mandela won the first free elections.