Eugene Terreblanche, 69, was found Saturday, bludgeoned to death at his farm house in North West province. A 28-year-old farm laborer and 15-year-old casual worker were charged with theft, unlawful entry, and killing Terreblanche. Reports from the scene say he had refused to pay them their monthly pay of $41.
President Jacob Zuma remarked: “We strongly condemn such acts of violence. People should use legal and peaceful means to resolve differences of any nature including labor disputes. We should uphold the right to life that is enshrined in the Constitution and abide by the rule of law at all times.”
A farmer from the southern Free State immediately replaced the deceased leader of the “White Wolves” (Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging) with a following reported to be 150,000. The AWB, formed in 1973, is ruled by an executive council - of which Terre'Blanche was the chairperson.
The incident shocked the nation and provoked at least one heated confrontation reminiscent of the days of racial apartheid. At a court hearing for the two suspects, white supporters of the dead AWB leader and South African Blacks traded insults and sang racially-charged songs with the AWB singing Die Stem, the national anthem before the dawn of multiracial democracy in 1994. Black spectators responded with Zulu choruses from the new national anthem, Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika.
The trial will be closed to the public. A new hearing was set for Apr. 14.