‘Not in AWB’s name’

2010-04-06 00:00

VENTERSDORP — The Afrikaner Weerstandbeweging (AWB) has done a radical about-turn and retracted a “declaration of war” against black people in South Africa.

Hundreds of AWB supporters gathered at a park in Ventersdorp for a meeting closed to the media yesterday.

West Rand AWB commandant Pieter Steyn said afterwards that the organisation’s leaders asked members not to avenge leader Eugene Terre’Blanche’s murder with violence or by holding marches or making racist remarks.

“Anyone engaging in any form of violence is not doing it as AWB.”

Steyn said the statement made by AWB general secretary André Visagie on Sunday, that members of the organisation will arm themselves to avenge Terre’Blanche’s death, was made “in the heat of the battle”.

“Our members are emotional and very angry. We have urged them to remain orderly, calm and self-controlled, but it is becoming increasingly difficult. I don’t know what will happen if another farmer gets murdered,” said Steyn.

The two murder suspects, one of them said to be a minor, will appear in court on camera today.

Steyn said there will not be an official AWB gathering at the court building, but he knows many members will gather there.

They have been asked not to make any political speeches. Furthermore, no flags, political speeches or marches will be allowed at the funeral on Friday.

Meanwhile, the SA Communist Party added its voice to calls for calm yesterday, saying murder has no place in South African society.

Spokesman Malesela Maleka said that, despite the differences the party might have with indivi­duals and their political beliefs, murder is not the solution.

He said in a statement that although the SACP had “fundamental differences” with Terre’- Blanche’s views, it strongly condemns his murder.

“We call on government to act swiftly on the alleged perpetrators and broaden these actions to combat both the killing of farm owners and farm workers.”

AgriSA’s security committee chairman, Andre Botha, yesterday said President Jacob Zuma “can be proud” of the leadership shown by Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa in handling the case.

He told Beeld Mthethwa had acted as a minister, not a polical party member.

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