The brutal murder of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) leader Eugene Terre’Blanche will inevitably cause a major tremor in South African politics. Unfortunately the landscape of politics in our country is defined by race, when a high profile leader dies, it matters whether he or she was black or white – before we even establish the cause of death. Then the establishment of the cause of death rounds off our impression from which we can move on. Despite the fact that post ’94 we viewed our selves as a Rainbow Nation, never has there been a time as conducive as now to inquire as to how many of us bought into the Rainbow Nation ideal. Perhaps when it was proclaimed, with glistening eyes, some Republicans scoffed and grunted ‘we will see whether it will work out or not’.
You can refer back to the Reitz Four (http://wp.me/puRfy-2S ) incident and the ensuing Farm Killings and shake your confused head as you try to ascertain whether this country, in the new dispensation of democracy, will ever work out or not. And then as you come to the darkness of the end of your thought trail, you will also see Steve Hofmeyr and AfriForum, in an effort to raise a concern about the volatile nature of the ‘Kill The Boer, Kill The Farmer’ anti apartness song being hauled-turned away from Luthuli House as if their concern was misplaced. Then it ought to grab your conscience, if there is any left, that this can not be the pinnacle of democracy.
The death of Terre’Blanche is playing out against an unpleasant political landscape under the ruling Center, which my last paragraph attempted to capture. Will the Center hold it all together when we begin to see retaliation from the far right? Any sane person should not underestimate the potentiality of revenge when a central figure to a movement is eliminated. Can the blood of TB, which is bound to revitalize AWB’s cause, be reconciled as just another tragic case in our vilolent society? Unfortunately this could proof difficult at a time whereby there has been a revival of a struggle song that, in the context of the New South Africa, promotes racial division and hatred.
Let us face a fact here. Should Terre’Blanch have died under a different setting, say a natural death, despite the dissatisfaction of AWB with the new dispensation, we wouldn’t be worried about innocent people’ lives which might be sacrificed should there be a retaliation from AWB’s arms constituency. The Center ought to think carefully in terms of its next move, definitely, now the world is really looking at South Africa – what is the next move? One thing for sure is that part of our society has been incensed by the death of Eugene Terre’Blanch despite his past deeds.
© Mmutle Arthur Kgokong 2010