Racial Tension Reaches Boiling Point in South Africa: Julius Malema Calls for the Killing of Whites
Julius Malema Calls for and the Killing of Whites – Racial Tension Reaches Boiling Point
As tension mounts after high-profile murder, is a race war looming?
by Shaun Willcock
The purpose of these articles is to provide insightful comment on the contemporary South African and southern African scene from a Christian, “politically-incorrect” perspective, in order to counter the propaganda of the Reds, almost-Reds (liberals and others), religious Reds (“liberation theologians”), and all their fellow-travellers; and to encourage Christians to pray for the people of this beautiful but desperately needy part of the world, and especially for their Christian brethren living here; and to do what they can to assist them.
Julius Malema, the leader of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL), has earned a reputation in South Africa as loud-mouthed, uncouth, racist, hate-filled, vengeful, and extremely dangerous. He has regularly made shocking statements, in a very public manner, often threatening people, especially white South Africans and those within the ANC itself whom he dislikes. He is a rabid supporter of President Jacob Zuma, even famously saying that he was willing to “Kill for Zuma”! It seems, though, that no matter how vicious his statements, no matter how inciting, no one in the top leadership of the ANC dares to discipline him. He appears to be untouchable, no doubt because even the top brass fear his growing popularity and power with the black youth. Zuma himself has stated publicly that Malema has the potential to be a future president. This kind of talk fills people with dread and fear: they see, in their minds, all the terrible African despots who have come to power since Colonialism ended, and the massacres they unleashed on their countries. Nelson Mandela, despite being a terrorist at one time, managed in his old age, as the country’s first black president, to allay white South Africans’ fears to some extent; Thabo Mbeki, his successor, made some chilling and very dangerous statements and was known for his hatred of whites; Jacob Zuma, Mbeki’s successor, comes across as an affable man with the common touch, who has assured whites that they belong to South Africa, and yet he appears to be grooming the odious Malema for greatness, which bodes very ill and makes Zuma’s motives very suspect indeed. If indeed he is headed for high office in South Africa one day, this is one of the most ominous development in SA politics since the ANC came to power in 1994. For this man is dangerous. Very, very much so.
His Allegedly Extravagant Lifestyle
But as he continues to shoot his mouth off, there is a growing chorus, from all sectors of society, for something to be done about him. And recently, the Star newspaper reported on his extravagant lifestyle, despite claiming to be on the side of the “poor”. The paper claimed that Malema had bought houses with a combined worth of almost R5 million, for cash. It also claimed that he earned a salary of about R20 000 a month, and that he owns a Mercedes-Benz, an Aston Martin, and a Range Rover Sport. Furthermore, it claimed that he is the director of four companies. Yet Malema himself is on record as saying, “You must never role model a rich person who cannot explain how they got rich. In the ANC we must not have corrupt people as role models. Corrupt means a simple thing – you can’t explain the big amount in your bank account.” As journalist William Saunderson-Meyer commented, tongue firmly in cheek: “What a wonderful land of opportunity we live in. A 20-something man who failed woodwork in high school can turn his hand to running a brace of construction companies and become a multi-millionaire overnight. This is truly a vindication of the [ANC] slogan [of the 1970s and 1980s] ‘no education before liberation.’”
As Malema recently called for the nationalisation of SA’s mines, Anton Alberts, the parliamentary spokesman for the Freedom Front Plus, a conservative Afrikaner political party, said, very correctly: “If all the information is correct, then Mr Malema maintains a lifestyle which is far above his income. He cannot, just like Stalin, give himself out to be a Communist who wants to nationalise mines, but at the same time live like a Capitalist.”
Of course, predictably, Malema and the ANC denied the report, demanding a retraction and an apology from the paper, calling the reports far-fetched, untrue and deceitful. Malema said, “I’m not desperate. The ANC pays me very well – more than R20 000 a month.”
Defending Malema, an ANC Youth League official said the ANC had fought in “the struggle” (i.e. the terrorist revolution) for the sort of lifestyle that Malema enjoyed! He said: “He has a right, because these are the privileges and rights that we have fought for.” He added: “If the opportunity has come for one to prosper, why must we be jealous?” And: “We are not saying there is anything wrong with people accumulating wealth, because at the end of the day it is this African National Congress that fought for the distribution of wealth.” This statement reminds one of what a senior ANC leader said a few years ago: “We did not join the struggle to stay poor.” One is also reminded of George Orwell’s Animal Farm: “All pigs are equal, but some are more equal than others.” Communists preach about equality for all, but when they come to power the elite are as Capitalistic as any Capitalist. They became revolutionaries, not because they genuinely cared for the poor, but because the revolution was a way to eventually make themselves wealthy and powerful.
He Sings “Shoot the Boers” – and Stirs a Nationwide Reaction
In Malema’s racist outburst at a public meeting in March, he burst into song, singing, “Shoot the boere, they are rapists.” The Afrikaans word, boere, means “farmers”, but it is also the name many Afrikaners give to their people; and thus the song calls for the killing of both farmers (the vast majority of whom are white, both English and Afrikaners), and of Afrikaners as a nation. South Africa has “hate speech” laws which forbid this kind of thing. We do not believe in the definition of “hate speech” as given in the legislation, for any statement that is considered even “hurtful” to someone is considered “hate speech”, and this is pathetic and wrong. It turns people into childish cry babies, running off to the Human Rights Commission every time they feel “hurt” by something someone has said, and it stifles robust debate and freedom of the press and of expression. For this reason we do not agree with a recent court judgment that found Malema guilty of “hate speech” for saying that President Zuma’s rape accuser had a “nice time” with her. His statement was disgusting, but to label it “hate speech” was ridiculous, and illustrates precisely what the dangers are with regard to this “hate speech” legislation. But when a public figure like Julius Malema calls for white people to be killed and brands them all as rapists, this, most definitely, is speech that is “incitement to cause harm”, “incitement to violence”, which is part of the definition of “hate speech” in the legislation. And for such inciting speech, Malema should be prosecuted. It is dangerous and inflammatory and leads to the actual murder of whites by blacks.
After Malema sang the song, Pieter Mulder, leader of the Freedom Front Plus, laid a criminal charge against Malema, saying the use of the slogan contravenes Section 16 of the SA Constitution. “In terms of this section, no person may advocate hate which is based on the grounds of race, ethnicity, gender or religion and which incites action to cause harm to others,” he said. He said that the previous week, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa promised farmers (most of whom are white) that the police would try to reduce farm murders, but Malema’s speech “creates the opposite atmosphere”.
The Freedom Front Plus also stated: “The FF Plus is of the opinion that Malema’s behavioural patterns are starting to adhere to the description of enticement to genocide in terms of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide.” In this it is correct, and truly, Malema’s statements could very possibly lead to an attempt at genocide against white South Africans at some point down the line, unless something is done, and done soon. It is a frightening scenario and not at all far-fetched, and people in South Africa and abroad need to understand the very real possibility of this.
The chairman of the civil organisation, AfriForum Youth, Ernst Roets, said the organisation would submit a complaint to the Equality Court in Johannesburg, and that this was not the first time Malema had sung the song, reminiscent of former ANCYL leader Peter Mokaba, who used to chant the slogan, “Kill the Boer, kill the Farmer”. Malema sang the slogan at his birthday celebrations in Polokwane, in a province where six farmers were murdered in the past month, Roets said. AfriForum said that it would seek an urgent high court interdict to stop Malema from singing the song. It said the song “describes farmers and whites as dogs, cowards, robbers and rapists, and includes a call to shoot farmers and whites.”
The SA Human Rights Commission, which in 2007 defined the slogan “Kill the Boer, Kill the Farmer” as hate speech, was inundated with calls from the public complaining about Malema’s wicked remarks. An Afrikaner organisation, the Afrikanerbond, lodged a complaint with the commission, saying in its statement, “It is clear that neither the ANCYL or the ANC have the political will or power to rein in Mr Malema and his daily tirades against everything we hold dear in South Africa.” The organisation’s chief secretary, Jan Bosman, said there are about 750 to 850 attacks on farms each year, and that last year alone 120 people were murdered on farms. “Incitement to violence is a serious offence and with the current problem with rural safety, we simply do not need a politician such as Mr Malema to exacerbate the problem,” he said.
The official opposition, the Democratic Alliance (DA), said it would lay 351 complaints against Malema with the Human Rights Commission for singing the song. The names of 351 farmers and their complaints, gathered by the DA in the Northwest province, were to be handed over to the commission.
The KwaZulu-Natal Agricultural Union slammed Malema, with Koos Marais of the union’s security desk saying, “Such comments and slogans are unfair and irresponsible. This is ironic because recently Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said the police will work towards reducing farm murders. There’s nothing to substantiate his claims of rape and the very farmers he incites violence against are playing a huge role in helping many HIV/Aids orphans throughout the country.”
The ANC Leadership Refuses to Condemn Him
No senior ANC minister has, to date, condemned Malema for his utterance! Not one. The ANC’s spokesman Ishmael Mnisi said it had “not decided” whether to even meet Malema to “talk” with him about the matter! He added, “We wouldn’t appreciate any statements against any member of our society, including whites… they are also South Africans”; but this sounded very hollow given the fact that senior ANC leaders could not even find it in themselves to “talk” with Malema about his racial and inflammatory utterances!
He truly appears to be untouchable, with even the top brass of the ANC either running scared of him and his popularity, or actually secretly encouraging him to say the things they cannot say. We suspect both: that some of the top brass are indeed scared of him, while others are encouraging him. A senior member of the ANC/Communist Party alliance, speaking only on condition of anonymity which shows how afraid some are, said, “[Malema] thinks he’s untouchable and he behaves that way. The problem is that there’s a large group of unemployed, disillusioned youth who relate to his populist statements and melodrama.” In fact, over the past few weeks many senior ANC figures had expressed their dismay at Malema’s public flouting of authority and reprimands, but without exception they only spoke on condition of anonymity! One of them admitted, “people should understand that it’s difficult for us [to speak out].” So much for the ANC being a “democratic” party! Like the country itself under this vile regime, it is a party full of fear and uncertainty. Truly, as DA leader Helen Zille said, Malema is leading SA by the nose.
Farm Murders Following His Song
Within days of Malema’s singing of the racist slogan, Lynette Ralfe, an elderly white farmer’s wife, was murdered in her house near Estcourt in KwaZulu-Natal province. Her husband, Nigel, was also shot but survived. He was accosted by six men, who shot him in the neck and arm, then hit him with the gun, kicked him and threatened to stab him. They manhandled him and took him to the house, where his wife was bathing their three granddaughters, aged four, three, and one-and-a-half. When she opened the door, the men shot her three times before she could even speak. She went into the bedroom, bleeding from the chest, and died. As the men rifled through the house, the children kept asking Ralfe what was wrong with their granny. He told them to go into the other bedroom, shut the door and stay in their beds. They listened, and were not harmed. The murderers left with a laptop, a pair of binoculars, a phone and an old pistol
Ralfe lost the use of his right hand and the bone in his upper arm was blown to pieces, and had to be replaced from shoulder to elbow with a steel pin. Now a widower, he has no plans to leave his farm, but said he intends to “keep working, keep going – what else can I do?… If I move to [a city], I could just as well get hijacked or shot. We are living in an unruly country. You can’t run away from the place where you live and grew up. We are caught between a rock and a hard place.” His family has owned the farm since the first decade of the 20th century.
The DA released a statement expressing outrage at the attack, and said that the security situation is aggravated by the singing of so-called “struggle songs” that advocate the killing of farmers. It said, “Malema’s actions, along with subsequent attempts by the ANC’s Gwede Mantashe to justify his conduct, stand in stark contrast to the pain and suffering being experienced by this family and the many others before them.” The DA’s spokesman on safety, Sizwe Mchunu, said as well: “It is our belief that this senseless attack was incited by the proliferation of hate speech that is the hallmark of…Malema.”
This particular farm attack made international headlines, with the British Sunday Telegraph running a story linking the singing of “shoot the boer” to the murder of Lynette Ralfe. It was in fact the third such attack in one weekend! A farmer was critically injured when he was shot through his bedroom window while sleeping, and another farmer was murdered in his house as well.
ANC Secretary-General Justifies Malema
What was the DA referring to when it spoke of the ANC’s Gwede Mantashe justifying Malema’s conduct? Well, Mantashe is the powerful ANC secretary-general; and he defended Malema’s use of the song, saying, “You must interpret what is in the songs and then you must express views on it… but when you interpret the song and you vulgarise the interpretation, as a journalist, you are actually inciting conflict. It’s an old struggle song, anybody who relegates it into hate speech today, to me, I will regard that as a serious attempt to erase our history…. If you try to erase the history through courts, that would be unfortunate to the country.” Note how this man, a senior ANC leader in the government, not only justified Malema’s use of the song, but turned things around so that journalists who supposedly misinterpret it are the ones inciting conflict, not politicians who sing it! It also shows that the ANC holds the courts in contempt, and if they rule in a way that the ANC finds unacceptable, they may yet act against the courts and thus against the rule of law. And should that happen, South Africa in addition to being the Marxist country it already is, would then also become another Zimbabwe, with leaders who are above the law and ride roughshod over the judiciary. This is in fact already happening. The signs are all there.
Mantashe went on to say: “One of the things we must do in South Africa if we want to be serious about real reconciliation and nation building is that we must never be over-sensitive about facts of history…. We must never be seen to be over-sensitive about white fears at the expense of black aspirations…. If we do that, we may nurse the white fears and say let’s not alienate them and ultimately in the process alienate people who suffered for years and decades because we are not paying attention to their own plight.” In other words, it’s all about black people, and the white minority count for nothing. This is extremely dangerous language in South Africa. What’s more, he says South Africans should not be over-sensitive about facts of history – and yet the ANC is so over-sensitive that it is systematically obliterating the history of whites in South Africa in every way it can!
Malema’s Followers Call for the Murder of Whites
And meanwhile, one of Malema’s supporters, Clearance Letlonkane, was placing “updates” of the murders of white farmers on what was said to be Malema’s Facebook page every few hours. One of these updates read: “3000 farmers dead since ´94… we lost more people than that… we’re far from being even… So kill da boer, kill da farmer.” And another one read: “They kept the wealth of our land… the little riches obtained is not merly [sic] enough to be shared equally amongst all of us [i.e. amongst black people]…. Hence it is that corruption persists…. Crime will not rest until all that was stolen 4rm us is… all regained…”
He also wrote that “eight people have been murdered on farms in Limpopo [province] since the beginning of February.” When questioned about this, he said: “I haven’t killed anyone, but I am not sympathetic to those who have been murdered… sue me for not shedding a tear.”
And another Malema supporter, Thato Mbateti Mbateti, wrote on the same Facebook wall: “You —- [expletive deleted] white pigs. Malema is our leader…. Look ahead my fellow black people. We will then take our land, and every trespasser, namely white whores, we will rape them and rape them till the last breath is out. White kids will be burned, specially those in Pretoria and Vrystaat. Men will be tortured while I take a video clip and spread it on YouTube…. we shall stand together and rape those —- [expletive deleted]. It’s true what Malema said, silently we shall kill them…. Police will stand together…. Our leader will lead us to take our land over. Mandela will smile again. White —- [expletive deleted], we coming for you!!!! Households will be broken into and families will be slaughtered.”
This is the kind of racial hatred that exists among large swathes of the black population in South Africa. The ANC Youth League distanced itself from the postings on Facebook, saying it is against all forms of hate speech. Its spokesman, Floyd Shivambu, said: “The ANC Youth League president does not have an official Facebook fans page, and does not use Facebook.” But whether that is so or not, such statements are being made on Facebook by Malema’s supporters. The ANC boasts of being in favour of non-racialism, but it is a joke. The ANC is a black racist party through and through, and it is allowing Malema and his supporters to incite violence against whites by their evil rantings. Nothing is done about him. He is saying what most ANC leaders feel. So much for the much-vaunted “rainbow nation”. It is all exposed as the myth it always was.
As AfriForum Youth said in a statement, such racist Facebook postings prove Malema wrong when he defends singing his song. “Malema’s defence regarding the controversial ‘shoot the boer/farmer’ song, namely that he does not mean this literally, is irrelevant,” said AfriForum Youth’s national chairman, Ernst Roets. “What is relevant is the way in which this song is interpreted at a grassroots level by the ‘Boers’ and Malema’s supporters.” He added: “It serves no purpose for the ANCYL to distance itself in a statement from such proclamation, while they go ahead making statements in public that serve to incite racial hatred and violence.” Roets said he feared a backlash from the Afrikaner community.
A Court Victory – but the ANC Calls the Ruling “Incompetent”
Finally, on March 26, a legal victory: a Johannesburg High Court judge issued an order stating that it was illegal and unconstitutional to say or publish the phrase “dubul’ibhunu” (“shoot the boer”). The Acting Judge, Leon Halgryn, accepted that these Zulu words mean “shoot the boer/white man” and constitute hate speech, and that uttering or publishing them could be a criminal offence if the intention is to encourage crime. People uttering such phrases can therefore be criminally charged and will have to prove that an utterance was not intended as an incitement to commit a crime.
This is the first time a South African court has ever made such a finding about the phrase, according to Prof. Pierre de Vos, a constitutional expert. He said the implication of the judge’s order is that the Johannesburg High Court, and any lower court in the country, will have to heed and follow the order if anything similar is brought before them, and high courts in other regions could also note the order and follow it, unless they believe it is wrong.
Willie Spies, legal representative of AfriForum and Transvaal Agricultural Union SA, said, “The order emphasises how important it is that people like Julius Malema should be forced to desist from such utterances. We will use the order to support our application for an interdict against Malema in the Pretoria High Court”.
The ANC said it would appeal against the judgment, and expressed “astonishment” at the court’s failure to approach it for input on the history and purpose of the song Ayesaba Amagwala (“The Cowards are Scared”), which includes the lyrics “shoot the boer” and “The cowards are scared.” Secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said the court’s bid to ban the song was “a farce”, and its spokesman Jackson Mthembu described the court judgment as “incompetent”.
In response to this, I wrote to a South African newspaper as follows: “How typical of the arrogant ANC to now want to appeal the court ruling that found the singing of its disgusting song, ‘shoot the boer’, to be hate speech. These racist thugs claim it was fine to sing such a thing then and it is fine to do so now, so convinced are they of the ‘rightness’ of their ‘cause.’ Well, whites were equally convinced of the rightness of their cause in defending their lives and those of their families against terrorists; and morally, their cause was far more right than that of those who called for the killing of people on the basis of their race.
“Oh and we have to laugh at the song’s words: ‘The cowards are scared.’ The cowards were the terrorists of the ANC, who bombed and burned innocent civilians to death, and the only reason it was eventually victorious was neither because of military prowess nor because of fear on the part of the soldiers of the old SADF, who were anything but cowards, but because of sellout at the top. And the cowards now are those who chant about killing whites but who are so ‘brave’ that they have to break into the houses of the elderly at night and kill them there. It’s all very well to gather in herds and chant about killing whites, but no bigger cowards can be found.”
Even sections of the liberal media can see the danger this man and his statements and songs pose to the country. The editorial of The Witness said: “The Johannesburg High Court was absolutely correct to find these words unlawful…. That the African National Congress should be appealing against the court ruling is unbelievable. It shows that the party has no sensitivity to an acute need for reconciliation and nation building. On the one hand it remilitarises the police and talks of zero tolerance for criminals. On the other, it allows some supporters to incite murder. And this is no empty fear: hundreds of farmers have been killed since 1994.”
The court ruling was a victory against racist thugs and for the rule of law in SA. But it remains to be seen for how long the ANC will continue to abide by court rulings and orders. Its response to the court ruling shows plainly that it prefers the Zimbabwe route of just ignoring court decisions and riding roughshod over the law. If it does not get its way, it might very well simply decide to ignore the judiciary and do its own thing. SA is just a step away from an absolute one-party dictatorship.
Another Court Victory – but Malema Remains Defiant
Then, on April 1st, another blow to Malema: the Pretoria High Court granted an interdict barring him from singing shoot the boer”, or from uttering any other song of a similar nature which incites violence. The order, which the judge stated was a provisional one, would be effective until the first day the matter is heard in the Equality Court, to which it was referred by the judge.
Malema was defiant as always. On a visit to Zimbabwe to meet that country’s evil dictator, Robert Mugabe, and while calling for the nationalisation of SA’s mines and its farmland, just as has happened in Zimbabwe, saying the mines and farms were in the hands of whites and needed to be transferred to blacks, he then said that no one, including what he termed “the white judiciary” in SA, would stop him from singing his song. He said, “The judiciary is still being controlled by whites, the economy is still in the hands of the whites and the media in South Africa is also in the hands of the whites. What is the difference between apartheid and now? Do we have to be in Zimbabwe to enjoy freedom?” “We will never retreat… we are prepared to go to jail… they will never tell us which song to sing.” Apart from the absolutely ridiculous and untrue statements about the judiciary and the media, his words demonstrate that if he could have his way, SA would go the way of Zimbabwe. For men like him, Zimbabwe is a model state, a Utopia, in which white citizens are oppressed and held in semi-slavery by triumphant blacks.
A Legal “Prosecute Malema” Campaign: the ANC Expresses Fear for Malema’s Safety!
The Freedom Front Plus launched a “Prosecute Malema” campaign, consisting of gathering signatures via email and through a website where a protest letter could be signed, to be handed over to President Zuma. Incredibly, the ANC “expressed concern” about the campaign! Note: not about Malema’s racist speeches, not about the ongoing murders of white farmers, but about a legal attempt to get the ANC to take disciplinary steps against Malema! In fact, in retaliation the ANC laid a charge against the Freedom Front Plus regarding its “Prosecute Malema” campaign, saying they were worried about Malema’s safety! The FF Plus responded by stating: “It is ironic that the ANC has laid a charge against the FF Plus about the party’s “prosecute Malema” campaign because they are worried about Mr. Malema’s safety, but shows no real understanding for the thousands of farmers who have already been murdered in South Africa or about the safety of farmers. The objective with the FF Plus campaign is not at all to jeopardize the safety of Malema, but in the interest of South Africa and good relations prevent him from continuing with his racial incitement performances. These performances lead to ever-increasing polarization in the South African community in a time where it cannot be afforded at all.”
Meanwhile an SMS (text message) started doing the rounds, promising a R2 million reward to anyone who kills Julius Malema. The ANC was quick to express shock at this, saying it was taking the threat “very seriously” and had reported it to the police minister. “This SMS is clearly a public declaration to kill,” said the ANC spokesman in a statement. It then blamed the Freedom Front Plus’ “Prosecute Malema” campaign for the SMS threat, saying it feared the campaign could lead to Malema’s murder!
In a letter to a South African newspaper, I wrote: “The ANC warns the Freedom Front Plus that its ‘Prosecute Malema’ campaign could incite someone to kill Julius; but when the FF Plus warns the ANC that Malema’s ‘shoot the boers’ song could incite blacks to kill whites, the ANC shrugs it off and says the song is ‘part of its history’. The ANC is deeply concerned about a perfectly legal campaign calling for the prosecution of Malema – not his murder; yet the continual singing of ‘shoot the boers’ by this racist young man does not concern them at all. The ANC takes the threat made in an sms, offering a reward to anyone who kills Malema, ‘very seriously’ (which of course it should) and says, ‘This sms is clearly a public declaration to kill’; yet when Malema and hundreds of his followers sing ‘shoot the boers’, which the courts have found to be incitement to violence, and white farmers are murdered almost every week, the ANC says it must be ‘understood in context’. Dear Julius is hale and hearty, the picture of prosperity and the (very) good life, surrounded by bodyguards; but hundreds and hundreds of white farmers lie in their graves, not having had the luxury of the kind of protection this man has as he mouths off about killing whites.”
And then came the high-profile murder that could yet prove to be the catalyst:
The Brutal Murder of Eugene Terre’Blanche
On April 3rd Eugene Terre’Blanche, the leader of the right-wing Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (Afrikaner Resistance Movement), popularly known as the AWB, was hacked to death on his farm in the Northwest province, allegedly by two of his workers after an altercation over their farm wages. Two young black men, aged 15 and 28, were arrested.
Terre’Blanche (69) was found in a bedroom of his house, lying on his back with severe facial and head injuries. On the scene police found a panga (bush knife) and a knobkerrie (stick with a knob on the end).
In the 1970s Terre’Blanche and some other Afrikaners formed the AWB, and in the 1980s and early 1990s it became a feared organisation among blacks, as it used Terre’Blanche’s mesmerising oratorical skills to stir up certain far-right sections of the Afrikaner community to resist the moves towards a black Marxist government in SA, sometimes violently. Members of the AWB wore military-style uniforms, prepared for war, and flew their flag which bore an eerie resemblance to a swastika.
In the late 90s Terre’Blanche was sentenced to a six-year prison term for severely assaulting a black man. When he emerged from prison he claimed to be a born-again Christian and kept a low profile, seemingly concentrating almost solely on his farm. But the AWB continued to exist and he continued as its leader. And some months ago he appeared to be making some kind of comeback, addressing a small rally and promising a “Boer liberation.”
As news of his gruesome murder swept the world, tensions were running high in South Africa. AWB men started congregating at the Terre’Blanche farm, vowing vengeance. The ANC government was quick to realise the potential international harm this high-profile murder could do to SA’s image, especially with only weeks to go before the Soccer World Cup, the biggest sporting event in the world, is held in SA, with hundreds of thousands of foreign visitors poised to pour into the country. President Jacob Zuma condemned the murder and appealed for calm in an overnight statement, as did the leaders of most political parties. And then Zuma gave a televised address as well. He expressed his condolences to the Terre’Blanche family, calling the murder “shocking” and “a sad moment for the country”, and said, “Violent crime must be fought and be defeated by all of us,” condemning the murder as a “cowardly act.” He even went so far as to say, “This happening must indeed say to us as leaders: we need to think before we make statements in public that might be misunderstood to be encouraging the opposite of what we are trying to do to build our new nation.” Time will tell whether this evident reference to Julius Malema’s inciteful statements will translate into action being taken against him by the ANC leadership. We hope so, but Zuma is known for saying the right things, making the right noises, but not following through with them. This, after all, is what he would be expected to say at such a time, when the eyes of the world are upon him to react properly to this killing.
After visiting Terre’Blanche’s family on his farm, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa told reporters, “Let us be calm and allow the police to get to the bottom of this crime. Nobody must obstruct the police in their jobs.” And: “We are appealing to South Africans not to politicise this murder and we call upon them not to issue inflammatory statements.” This was of course the right thing to say, and to that extent the police minister must be commended. But we cannot help wonder how the police, the government, and huge sections of the black community in SA would react if this had been the murder of a black politician by a white man. In fact, we need not wonder – we know, beyond shadow of doubt, that there would be rioting in the streets and savage calls for whites to be murdered. And those calls would be acted upon. And government members would whip up the crowds baying for blood, with hysterical speeches. We know this with certainty because of past experience: this is how black mobs always react in SA. The murder of Chris Hani, the Communist Party leader, back in 1993 is a classic example, when black mobs went on the rampage and a number of whites were killed.
The Terre’Blanche Murder Linked to Malema’s Utterances
Immediately, the connection was made between this murder and Julius Malema’s song about killing farmers. The Democratic Alliance’s MP in the Northwest province, Juanita Terblanche, expressed outrage and concern over the murder and said: “This happened in a province where racial tension in the rural farming community is increasingly being fuelled by irresponsible racist utterances by the leader of the ANCYL Julius Malema and the Northwest Cosatu secretary, Solly Pheto. The DA did not share Terre’Blanche’s political conviction but an attack of this nature can be regarded as an attack on the diverse components of the South African democracy.” She added: “The DA calls for people to remain calm and on the ANC to strongly condemn racist utterances which have become synonymous with Malema and his ilk.”
Any connection between the song and the murder was immediately denied by ANC spokesman, Jackson Mthembu, who said: “Julius has not acted in a manner that promotes polarisation. The song is not a Julius song… it is an ANC song.” Well, that just digs a deeper hole for the ANC!
The ANC did, however, say that it would consider a moratorium on the song in the interests of national cohesion. How magnanimous of them! Only now, when this murder made international headlines just before the World Cup, does the ANC consider such a step; but it refused to do so as one white farmer after another was murdered in the past weeks and months.
Reaction to the Murder
Reaction from blacks living in the black township of Ventersdorp (the town near Terre’Blanche’s farm) was jubilant. A teenager said, “I’m glad he’s dead. I’m going to celebrate.” A woman said, “They leaped into the air screaming, ‘The dog is dead!’ Terre’Blanche did a lot of bad things to people and he got away scot-free. So the law failed us. But these two brave men have avenged for us.” Another woman was injured in an AWB bomb in the 1990s and her husband lost his arm. She said, “I suffered because of that man. He must go and burn in hell. I will not go to his funeral…. he killed innocent people.” However, a black farm labourer interviewed by TV news said that Terre’Blanche was very well liked by his farm labourers. And in an interview with the press, a black farm labourer said that Terre’Blanche had been willing to pay his labourers. He said, “I’m saddened by his death. He used to buy clothes for me and give me R50 every weekend.”
In his own reaction, the AWB’s secretary-general, André Visagie, said the AWB blames Malema for the murder, and that there will be revenge. “We are going to finish with funeral arrangements and thereafter have a summit conference on May 1 in Pretoria, where all our leaders and members of the AWB will come together and decide on what actions we will take to revenge Terre’Blanche’s death,” he said in an interview. “Our leader’s death is directly linked to Julius Malema’s Shoot the Boer song.” He added that despite a court interdict preventing Malema from singing the song, “he still persists and this means that the government condones what Malema is saying. If they come to us with condolences right now, we cannot accept it… because they condone Malema’s hate songs.” Although the AWB is a terrible organisation and no decent white person could ever support it, Visagie’s remarks about the link between Malema’s song and the murder, and the government’s hypocrisy, were, nevertheless, right on the mark.
Visagie added, “It was with great effort that we have calmed the hundreds of people who have been phoning since Saturday night from across the country. We urged them to remain calm until we can lead a co-ordinated campaign.” And his weeping wife, Maria, said: “Must we now shout ‘One Boer, One Taxi’?” This was ominous indeed. An ANC chant constantly heard a few years ago was, “One Farmer, One Bullet”, calling for white farmers to be shot dead. Now white right-wingers are seen with placards saying, “One Boer, One Taxi” – in other words, a warning to blacks that for every white farmer murdered by them, an entire taxi-load of blacks would be murdered.
The leader of the DA, Helen Zille, said Terre’Blanche’s murder will “inflame passions in South Africa at a time when tensions are already running high.” She called for calm and to reject “hate speech”.
Dr Dan Roodt, Afrikaner author and political commentator, said the ANC’s youth wing had created a climate of hate towards Afrikaners, which could lead to further anarchy, Zimbabwean-style land invasions, famine and even mass murder. He said, “South Africa already finds itself in a low-level ethnic conflict that is bound to escalate after a high-profile murder.” SA was now at a crossroads, he said, and he appealed to the US, the EU and the UN to intervene to stop a bloodbath in SA.
In his reaction Flip Buys, the chairman of the Afrikaans civil organisation, AfriForum, told a media conference: “Boiling point. These are the only words with which the political climate in South Africa can be described this afternoon after the umpteenth barbaric murder in the country.” And he said that AfriForum and the white union, Solidarity, would approach the United Nations Genocide Watch. “We will ask the UN’s Genocide Watch to monitor murder, violence and crime in South Africa preventatively to ensure that levels of such incidents do not escalate even further.”
Analysts warned that Terre’Blanche’s murder, if not handled sensitively, had the potential to plunge the country into violence – and of course this would seriously harm its image ahead of the Soccer World Cup. According to a risk analyst, who wanted to remain anonymous, the AWB leader’s murder could indeed cause a resurgence of support for the AWB, as whites – and even many blacks – were feeling politically marginalised and alienated. “Those Boers who had the same grievances as Terre’Blanche now at last have a martyr,” he said, “and they could organise… perhaps using the symbolism of his being murdered over Easter and being a martyr like Jesus.” Indeed, back in 1993 when SA Communist Party leader, Chris Hani, was murdered over the Easter weekend, pro-ANC preachers of “liberation theology” likened his death to that of Jesus and gained much mileage out of it. But such preaching is not part of the Afrikaner churches’ theology to the extent that it was (and is) part of the “liberation theology” heresy of such organisations as the SA Council of Churches and the SA Catholic Bishops’ Conference. Time will tell whether such a comparison will be made.
The AWB appears to be largely a spent force, a mere shadow of its former self in its glory days of the 1980s and early 1990s. But be that as it may, Terre’Blanche’s murder may be used by some extremist Afrikaners to organise and mobilise the AWB all over again, or possibly to establish some new movement.
Malema’s Own Reaction to the Murder
And what of Julius Malema himself? He was on a visit to Zimbabwe at the time, singing the praises of Robert Mugabe’s vile regime there. And in his reaction, he said the DA was putting his life in danger for linking his song to Terre’Blanche’s murder. “It is dangerous for anyone to reach such a conclusion,” he said. “The DA is putting my life in danger for something I know nothing about. It has nothing to do with me…. This is a right wing plot.”
It is true that Malema was not personally guilty of committing the murder. But even if it is proved in a court of law that the murder was not politically motivated, and really was about a wage dispute, this does not alter the fact that Malema’s inciteful, hate-filled utterances and songs have emboldened his followers to kill white farmers. Under normal circumstances, after all, it would take an extremely courageous man to attack Terre’Blanche, given his reputation in the black community; yet he was allegedly murdered by two young men.
As the spokesman for the Inkatha Freedom Party, Musa Zondi, put it: “Whether the murder of Mr Terre’Blanche is connected with this song or not, it makes it all the more urgent for Mr Malema and the ANC to abandon it in the name of peace. Some mindless people could take it literally and escalate intra-racial hatred and murder of farmers.”
And the irony is not lost on us: Julius Malema now fears for his life, squealing that his life could be in danger; but he had absolutely no regard for putting the lives of thousands of white farmers in danger by his utterances, many of whom have indeed been brutally murdered since he started singing his songs. It just goes to show what cowards such men always are.
A day after the murder Malema, in Zimbabwe, defiantly sang his song again, joined by members of his ANC Youth League delegation and supporters of Mugabe’s Zanu-PF. And a Zimbabwean government minister then assured Malema that even if he was killed when he returned to SA, the “many Malemas” whom he had inspired would take up “the struggle” for him.
The AWB Appears to Change Its Tune About Taking Vengeance
Two days after the murder, the AWB leadership appeared to do an about-face on its initial call for Terre’Blanche’s murder to be avenged, and retracted its “declaration of war” against black people. After a large meeting was held, an AWB commandant, Pieter Steyn, said that the leadership asked members not to avenge the murder with violence, or by holding marches or making racist remarks. He said, “Anyone engaging in any form of violence is not doing it as AWB.” He said the statement made by AWB general secretary, André Visagie, the day after the murder, to the effect that the AWB would arm themselves and avenge Terre’Blanche’s death, was made “in the heat of the moment.” He said: “It is against the policy of the AWB to use any form of violence, intimidation or racial slandering.” And: “There is a political onslaught on the farming community…. It is time President Zuma gets off his throne and actually governs this country like he’s supposed to. He can begin by telling Julius Malema to keep his mouth shut…. That’s not just something the AWB wants, I think it’s something all of South Africa wants. Malema should go back to school to finish his matric and then maybe join the Boy Scouts to learn some social skills, before he is allowed back into politics. Malema is the one trying to fan the flames of revolution – we are here trying to refrain from violence.”
This is an amazing about-face on the AWB’s part. Given its past history, we suspect, however, that this apparent change of heart was done for pragmatic reasons. This way, if any revenge attacks are carried out, the AWB leadership can say, “We told them not to.” It makes the leadership look innocent, and they also know that the SA police are closely monitoring them. But it does not actually mean there will be no vengeance taken.
This view of their statement is strengthened by the fact that Steyn went on to say: “Our members are emotional and very angry. We have urged them to remain orderly, calm and self-controlled, but it is becoming increasingly difficult. I don’t know what will happen if another farmer gets murdered.”
A strong police presence was keeping tabs on residents of the town of Ventersdorp as fears grew of a backlash.
The ANC Again Attempts to Lay the Blame on Whites
And meanwhile, the ANC, true to form, attempted to turn things so completely around that whites and white organisations and parties were made out, by it, to be the ones stirring up racial hatred! Its spokesman said, “The ANC is concerned and worried about the continued utterances by some political parties, particularly the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB), Freedom Front Plus and AfriForum, who have linked the death to the singing by Malema of the struggle song ‘Ayesaba amagwala’ (cowards are running) in some recent public gatherings.” Note that! It is not worried about Malema’s wicked utterances, but about those of white organisations who link his utterances with the murder of whites! He went on: “It is our belief that the continued linkage of the singing of the song by Comrade Malema to the killing of Mr Terre’Blanche, is not only mischievous but also inciteful and meant to fuel racial polarisation in our country during a highly emotion-charged and sensitive moment.” And, he added, it was meant to cause harm to Malema himself. The campaign against the ANCYL “might lead to unintended consequences that South Africa cannot afford.” There we have it – the veiled threat, after blame is laid at the victims’ feet, not the real perpetrator. Such is true Communism at work.
Racial Tension Escalates
As the two young black men appeared in court and were charged with the murder, racial tension outside the court ran high as a large group of white AWB supporters and black supporters of the two men on trial taunted each other, and police had to intervene, using razor wire to keep the two groups separate. The whites sang the old South African anthem from the days when whites governed the country, and the blacks sung the new anthem, which was the revolutionary anthem of the ANC before it came to power. AWB members carried their swastika-like flag as well as the old South African flag.
According to the SA Institute for Race Relations’ CEO, Frans Cronje, the ANCYL’s revival of the slogan “shoot the boer” may indeed have played a role in Terre’Blanche’s murder. “Racial tensions in the country appear to have increased significantly in recent weeks. This appears to be chiefly as a result of incitement by the ruling African National Congress to ‘shoot and kill’ the Afrikaner ethnic minority in the country,” he said. He accused the ANC of heightening tensions as it seeks to dissimulate its failures by blaming social inequality on white South Africans. “In an environment where law and order has largely collapsed the consequences of incitement by political leaders to commit murder must be taken seriously.” “In such an environment, it is plausible to consider that the ANC’s exhortations to violence may be a contributing factor to the killing of Mr Terre’Blanche.” He dismissed the ANC’s refusal to consider a possible link between Malema’s statements ands the murder as “ridiculous.”
One thing is very clear: tensions are rising between whites and blacks in the country, and with every racist, inflammatory statement made by Malema and his ilk, SA moves one step closer to the possible attempted genocide of white South Africans, which will lead to civil war. No one should underestimate what is happening in SA. These are very unhappy times, and unless something is done, and soon, by the ruling party to defuse the situation, this country could so easily slide into a state which all right-thinking people desperately want to avoid.
We call upon true Christians to pray for South Africa, and for their brethren living here. The country is once again staring into a horrifying racial abyss.
Shaun Willcock is a minister of the Gospel, and lives in South Africa. He runs Bible Based Ministries. For other news articles (which may be downloaded and printed), as well as details about his books, audio messages, pamphlets, etc., please visit the Bible Based Ministries website; or write to the address below. If you would like to be on Bible Based Ministries’ electronic mailing list, to receive all future articles, please send your details.
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