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Eugene Terreblanche rests in the white earth

April 4, 2010

So, last night via Twitter, the not very surprising news that Eugene Terreblanche has been murdered.

Instant karma has done for him.

My first thought: oh shit. Sure, no one deserves it more than Terreblanche, and I really have no human feeling for the man, but context is everything. A few days ago, ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema was in Zimbabwe, praising Mugabe, saying “in South Africa we are just beginning”, and singing “Kill the Boer”.

Last night, the most prominent “Boer” was murdered. Is that what we are reduced to? Murdering everyone we disagree with, until no one is left? Black fascists against white fascists?

What made me really angry was the knee jerk reaction of much of the British Left, celebrating the murder of an old man in his bed. Not a very edifying spectacle. Yes, he was our enemy, but we want to defeat our enemies politically, not have them hacked to death.

It also made me angry to see Brits – safe in a country that has never really seen massive social unrest – celebrating the escalation of violence in South Africa.

Look at it this way: imagine if Nick Griffin was murdered by a Muslim. We might be pleased that he was out of the way, we would acknowledge that he deserved it, but would it really make Britain a better place?

It would confirm all the EDL’s conspiracy theories, and then the Tories would start saying they’ve got a point, and before you know it he goes from odious toad to martyr.

Terreblanche was a spent force. He went to prison and was released and no one took him seriously. The fact that he was allowed to live unmolested was proof that the new South Africa was superior to the old one.

The white right has for years revelled in the fantasy that South Africa is turning into Zimbabwe. This is absolutely not true: populist demagogues aside, the majority of South Africans want to live in a social democracy where human rights are guaranteed. But for the white right, Terreblanche’s murder, in the context of Malema’s statements in support of Mugabe, are proof of their conspiracy theories.Their reaction will play into the hands of the black right, and further polarise a country that needs class unity instead of race war.

Context is everything. The ANC embraced neoliberalism and failed to bring economic and social justice to South Africa. People have been getting angry. Populists like the Malema have been blaming whites for the country’s problems, while having their own snouts deeply in the trough.

Over the past few years, around 1,000 other white farmers have been murdered. While the British Left claims this is their comeuppance for being racist scum, I think this is a very simplistic way of looking at things. For one thing, liberal farmers who participated in land reform have been murdered as much as others. For another, South Africa actually has much better human rights and labour laws than in the UK. For instance, we have the right to strike – which the UK doesn’t have – and the right to solidarity strikes too. In the first instance, we should be using these tools to right wrongs – not murdering people.

So: does killing Terreblanche really make things better? Do we just kill everyone we disagree with till there is no one left? Brits have no idea what it is like to live in a country where murder is an everyday reality, and I’d thank them not to celebrate any escalation of violence.

The only solution, I think, is to create a new homeland in South Africa, exclusively for those who are intent on race war. Julius Malema and the drunken, dissolute remnants of the AWB can live there, and live out their fantasies of murdering each other.

The rest of the country can get on with living in peace.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Melanie Charlton permalink
    April 5, 2010 9:52 am

    A friend of mine had a brilliant idea. Why dont we ALL write positive letters to Malema? I think if you feed negativity it becomes a monster therefore feed it with love and positivity.

  2. Nathaniel Tapley permalink
    April 13, 2010 9:01 am

    I enjoyed this post, and think it makes an important point. Thanks!

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