News / Africa

    Racial Tensions High in South Africa Day After Terre’Blanche Murder Suspects Arraigned

    Multimedia

    Audio
    Joe DeCapua

    Racial tensions remain high in South Africa following the recent murder of white supremacist Eugene Terre’Blanche.

    Wednesday, the ruling ANC party issued a statement urging restraint among its members.

    Thousands of people showed up at the court house Tuesday when two blacks – a 15-year-old boy and a man in his late 20s – were arraigned in the bludgeoning death.  Both had worked for Terre’Blanche.  

    “Tensions are quite high in certain sections of the population at the moment,” says VOA reporter Delia Robertson in Johannesburg.

    Color divide

    “On the right, of course, there’s a lot of anger at Mr. Terre’Blanche’s murder.  And the AWB, or the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging, which is the organization he founded, is once again today threatening to avenge his death,” she says.

    Eugene Terreblanche at start of his 2001 assault trial. He was convicted and served 3 years of a 6 year sentence for assaulting a black security guard
    Eugene Terreblanche at start of his 2001 assault trial. He was convicted and served 3 years of a 6 year sentence for assaulting a black security guard

    There’s also a lot of anger in many black communities, including many young South Africans.

    “They feel that he was a divisive figure and had treated blacks poorly, particularly his employees,” she says.  “And…many of the people that I have spoken to have said one of the biggest issues being discussed in those communities is concern about retaliation.”

    Robertson says despite the perception of a unified country following the end of apartheid and the 1994 democratic elections, many social problems have been simmering.

    “And it’s particularly caused by failure by some people to recognize that things need to change.  In youthful communities, certainly, it’s been caused by them leaving school and being unable to access jobs and living in poverty and looking a bleak future in the face,” she says.

    She says Terre’Blanche’s murder has “exacerbated it.”

    Motive?

    Police investigators allege the April 3rd killing stemmed from an argument over wages.  The mother of the younger suspect has said they had not been paid, despite repeated requests for the money.

    “I think that we need to wait until the trial to determine whether in fact that was the cause, or whether anything else entered into it.  We don’t know,” Robertson says, “whether they had access to newspapers or radios where they might have heard the singing of the song Kill the Boer by ANC Youth League president Julius Malema.  We just don’t know what their state of mind was at the time, accepting that they seem to have been extremely angry given the type of assault that occurred.”

    The courts have ordered Malema to refrain from singing the song out of concern that it could incite violence.

    AWB

    While Terre’Blanche was widely heard from during the apartheid years, he had not been in the media nearly as much since 1994.  But that may have been about to change.

    “Just a few months ago,” Robertson says, “he announced that he was going to revive the AWB and that they would be holding meetings to do that.  And that they were going to launch a program working toward an independent country for Afrikaners.  But it’s unclear how far that had progressed.”

    She adds, “The AWB movement had essentially sort of disintegrated.  Now people are coalescing a bit.  But once again it remains to be seen by just how much they will regroup.”  

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora