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South Africa Suspects Charged with Murder of White Supremacist

In South Africa, two suspects in the killing of a white supremacist leader have been charged with murder. The charges were announced after hundreds of black and white supporters faced off outside the courthouse west of Johannesburg.

Police in the town of Ventersdorp, 100 kilometers west of Johannesburg, Tuesday used razor wire to separate supporters of murdered white supremacist Eugene Terre'Blanche from supporters of the two black men accused of killing him.

Terre'Blanche's supporters sang South Africa's apartheid-era national anthem, while blacks sang the anthem adopted after the end of apartheid 16 years ago.

Two suspects arrested after the killing were charged with murder, house-breaking and aggravated robbery.

One of the accused is 15-years-old. As a result he cannot be identified by name and will be tried under newly instituted special laws for minor offenders.

His lawyer, Zola Majavu, told eNews television that the trial had been postponed until April 14 for two reasons.

"One, to allow us to conduct a formal bail application -I am by the way going to be bringing a formal bail application on his behalf-secondly to afford the investigating authorities an opportunity to finalize outstanding issues with regard to the bigger [older] accused," said the lawyer.

Majavu said the accused and his family were terrified for their safety. Terre'Blanche's Afrikaner Resistance Movement, or AWB, has vowed revenge although it says it will not engage in violence.

Terre'Blanche was bludgeoned to death Saturday at his farm outside Ventersdorp allegedly over a pay dispute with the two farm workers.

He helped found the AWB 37 years ago. It opposed the end of apartheid and staged bomb attacks in the run-up to South Africa's first democratic elections in 1994.

Terre'Blanche served three years in prison after being convicted in 2001 of brutally assaulting a gas station attendant and former security guard. Both were black.

Blacks at the courthouse said they were celebrating Terre'Blanche's death because he was brutal and greatly feared in the region.

The AWB has linked Terre'Blanche's killing to an anti-apartheid song called "Shoot the Boer," or white farmer. It is favored by the head of the youth wing of the ruling African National Congress, Julius Malema.

A South African court has banned the song as hate speech. The ANC says it is part of its history and is appealing.

AWB supporters say the song encourages attacks against white farmers, more than 3,000 of whom have been killed since the end of apartheid.

Black leaders say many farm attacks are the result of disputes with black farm workers who they say are often subject to abuse and arbitrary expulsion. Robbery is cited as another motive.

President Jacob Zuma Sunday issued a message on national television appealing for calm and urging political leaders to refrain from making inflammatory public statements.

Opposition politicians have echoed the call but add that Mr. Zuma should also rein-in the ANC's more fiery leaders.

Mr. Zuma has been criticized for his signature song from the anti-apartheid struggle entitled "Bring me my machine gun."