Mthethwa slates race politics

2010-04-19 23:05

Pretoria - Stop playing the race card every time a murder takes place, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said after a meeting with delegates from the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) in Pretoria on Monday.

South Africa does face certain challenges, but people shouldn't be allowed to play "race politics" every time a crime is committed.

Mthethwa said South Africa has been shaken by the murder of AWB leader Eugene Terre'Blanche, and emotions are running high.

He called on people to stay calm and refrain from making slanderous statements.

"People should be comforted by the fact that South Africa has leaders who are handling the country's problems. No-one is going to allow chaos to break out in South Africa.

"War is not the solution to the country's problems. South Africa has complex problems which require (good) judgment."

Farm murders

Mthethwa said this is not the first time an incident has stirred people's emotions.

It has happened many times before, but each time there were leaders who got things back in order.

"There are various political perspectives in South Africa, but we all have one objective in common: the fight against crime. We all want to eliminate the violent nature of crime in South Africa," said Mthethwa, who called the meeting with the AWB.

He added that crime, especially farm murders, was one of the main reasons for the meeting.

"Crime is committed everywhere in South Africa and farm murders do happen, but we also receive many complaints from farm workers.

"Our responsibility is to listen to everyone, find the middle ground and solve the problem. This is our country and we have to make it work."

Steyn van Ronge, new leader of the AWB, said after the meeting that he rejects "all racism and racist hate speech".

"We want to live in peace."