Protest in Sweden over 'genocide' in SA

2010-04-23 22:25

Johannesburg - An ultra right-wing group calling for an end to "genocide in South Africa", referring to the killing of whites, burned a South African flag during a protest march to the embassy in Stockholm, an embassy official confirmed on Friday.

The protesters - between 50 and 60 people - marched to the South African embassy in Stockholm on Saturday, April 17, said the embassy's first secretary-political, Eden Reid.

The protest march by the Swedish Resistance Movement - a fringe, Neo-Nazi organisation - culminated in the movement placing the embers of the flag and a leaflet in the embassy's post box.

The leaflet read: "Since 1994 more than 3 000 white farmers have been murdered in the 'rainbow nation' South Africa.

"Apart from this, violence is directed against whites in general because of their race. Brutal murders and rapes have increased by 25% since 2005 and robberies are more rule than exception."

It added that the leader of the ANC Youth League "is singing songs about how to 'kill the Boer, kill the farmer'."

This was a reference to ANCYL president Julius Malema who became embroiled in a furore over his singing of a struggle song with the words "shoot the boer" in it.

'Terrorist regime'

"... And this in a country that will host the soccer World (Cup) in two months.

"The governments of the world, including the Swedish, are supporting this terrorist regime inciting the ongoing genocide.

"This summer, will you be watching soccer from a country where the government is urging on the genocide of whites? Will you ignore the murders of your race kindred?"

Reid said the embassy was fully briefed about the protest by the Swedish police and added that it proceeded peacefully with "more police than protesters" present.

Honour for Terre'Blanche

While the embassy was closed on Saturday, Reid went into the office to monitor the situation. She commended the Swedish police's handling of the protest.

Protesters carried "Vierkleur" flags and that of the SRM. They also carried a portrait of the murdered leader of the AWB, Eugene Terre'Blanche, who it "honoured" during the protest.

A banner read: "Stop the boer genocide" in bright red ink, with the ANC's emblem beside it and a large panga in the background.

According to an account of the protest on the SRM website, the movement had a brief run-in with a "leftist mob", holding their own "counter-demonstration".
Once outside the embassy, they also "ripped the ANC flag in anger, to give a hint of his feeling about the presence of the ANC in Sweden!" the site read.

Unpopular in Sweden

Reid said the embassy understood that the SRM did not enjoy popular support in Sweden, which she described as a "cosmopolitan, tolerant" society.

Terre'Blanche's death on April 3 at his farm in Ventersdorp prompted fears of a right wing backlash, however, the threat by AWB members to avenge his death was later retracted.

The organisation back-tracked saying emotions were high at the time.

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe last week raised concern over the "apparent rise of the right wing" in South Africa.

"It is our responsibility to pay attention to that issue because where I am seated I think that is the most clear and glaring challenge facing our movement today, as we sit here," Mantashe said.

He said the right-wing had used Malema as a "trigger" to push its own agenda.

Brandishing the "Vierkleur" and the apartheid era flags should not be dismissed as a "small issue".

"It is an express defiance of progress and the intention to reverse progress... their intention is going to be exposed without any scapegoat from ourselves," he said at the time.