Thousands at Terre'Blanche funeral

2010-04-09 12:19

Ventersdorp - Thousands of AWB supporters braved the cold weather to attend the funeral of their leader Eugene Terre'Blanche in Ventersdorp on Friday.

Wearing the ultra-right wing movement uniform, they sang "Die Stem" and hoisted the old South African flag in front of the church where the funeral service started at midday.

A man waved a placard reading: "Julius Malema is uneducated, arrogant piece of pigshit", referring to the ANC Youth League leader whom some had blamed for playing a role in the murder of Terre'Blanche through his singing of the words "shoot the boer".

"Sê wat julle wil sê [say what you want]," the man said while parading the placard to the applause of the crowd.

Rugby on at Wimpy

A long queue of cars slowly headed to Terre'Blanche's funeral on the Potchefstroom road leading to Ventersdorp.

Hundreds of vierkleur and AWB flags were given an airing in Ventersdorp - the flags were hoisted out of cars with loud boeremusiek pumping out of stereos, or jangled as cellphone ringtones.

Restaurants did a booming trade as queues of people lined up to buy food while a large motorcycling fraternity rumbled through the town.

The local Wimpy was packed as people watched a rugby match while they waited for their burger orders to come through, before moving on to the church.

The town's black residents lined the pavements watching the spectacle impassively.

Terre'Blanche 'a changed man'

Isaac Medupi, a former chaplain at Rooigrond prison where Terre'Blanche served time, said the right wing leader had been a changed man on his release.

"He was a totally new person, show me one person who Terre'Blanche hurt after his prison term, I guess there's no one and this shows that he was a changed person."

He said through Terre'Blanche, he was able to buy a farm, and Terre'Blanche was always willing to help him with farming.

"He did not deserve to die like this.

"I am a farmer and at times, we do not have money and I believe he did not have money to pay his workers," he said, adding that emerging farmers were struggling because they did not have financial support and they had to farm without any assistance.

Terre'Blanche was allegedly killed by two of his farm workers over a pay dispute.

"Yes, he was emerging," Medupi responded to a question on whether Terre'Blanche could be considered an emerging farmer.

"He lost everything after he went to prison and he was just starting to establish his farm."

'Bury organisation with Terre'Blanche'

In the nearby Tsing township, residents went about their household chores.

"I thought the funeral was on Sunday, may his soul rest in peace, we are free at last," said Thabea Mkomo.

"I wish they bury their organisation with Eugene, it serves no purpose in the new era," said Thabelo Motlagomang, adding that a volkstad was an elusive dream.

"It [a volkstad] will not happen in our lifetime. They have to accept the harsh reality," he said.

Petrol attendant Klaas Moloyi said there had been no incidents since the death of the ultra-right wing leader.

"They will only trouble us once they are drunk, for now there is peace."

North West Premier Maureen Modiselle and her public safety MEC Howard Yawa were expected to attend the funeral.

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