‘Insignificant’ future for AWB

2010-04-07 15:44

Eugene Terre’Blanche’s violent death has made him more important than he has been since 1981 when his organisation was formed, says Professor André Duvenhage, political analyst at the Potchefstroom campus of the North West University.

Duvenhage told City Press that the violent way in which the Afrikaner Weerstand Beweeg (AWB) leader was murdered has made him more important as a symbol of right-wing reactionary resistance than he was when he first opposed former PW Botha’s Tricameral Parliamentary reforms in the early eighties.
 

Duvenhage says Terre’Blanche’s death is important, “not just for his organisation but as the symbol for the frustration of centre-right groupings in South Africa’s politics”.

“They will see this as a confirmation of their uncertainty about the future.” He adds that, should the AWB itself collapse because its existence is intertwined with the person of its dead leader, its membership can be expected to be absorbed into other ring-wing groupings. He says these groupings appear to be repositioning themselves.

“There’s an ongoing dynamic process of political repositioning going on in our political landscape.” This process, he argues, is made apparent by the consolidation of the Democratic Alliance, Independent Democrats and Congress of the People. The other more reactionary right-wing groups are also repositioning themselves in the background.

Another commentator, the independent political analyst Aubrey Matshiqi, sees an isolated future for Terre’Blanche’s organisation. He says “the AWB will continue to be marginal and fringe even in the minds of the most alienated Afrikaners”.

Though Matshiqi agrees that there’s an apparent sense of frustration or “alienation” for some within the Afrikaner community, even outside the AWB, he says the AWB will fail to harness it.

He adds that “we should not be fooled by the outburst of anger by its supporters… they’ll continue to be of no significance as a political force”. Matshiqi says though attempts will be made to rally support alongside Terre’Blanche’s death the organisation will remain without credibility. “They are discredited as a fascist and racist organisation.”

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