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Page last updated at 10:12 GMT, Friday, 11 June 2004 11:12 UK

SA's Terreblanche freed from jail

Eugene Terreblanche
Terreblanche wants to rebuild his party

South African white supremacist Eugene Terreblanche has been released from prison after serving three years of a five-year term for attempted murder.

Terreblanche, jailed for attacking a black security guard in 1996, was welcomed by some 20 supporters of his Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB).

After being freed in Potchefstroom, a white conservative town, he rode through the streets on his black horse.

Correspondents say he may now relaunch the AWB, whose membership has declined.

Outside the prison, journalists outnumbered his supporters, wearing military fatigues and waving the swastika-like AWB flag.

"Welcome into a black government," shouted one black bystander.

"I was the only white man in a prison cell but God was there with me and he protected me," said Terreblanche, 60.

Right-wing aspirations

The BBC's Alastair Leithead in Johannesburg says Terreblanche, who was freed on parole, is associated with the worst of white South Africa.

I was the only white man in a prison cell but God was there with me and he protected me
Eugene Terreblanche

Our correspondent says his notorious AWB tried terrorist tactics and threatened civil war in the run-up to South Africa's first democratic elections a decade ago.

With his striking blue eyes and white beard, and the backing of supporters clad in khaki with a swastika logo, he became the champion of a tiny minority of Afrikaners determined to stop the process that was bringing apartheid to an end.

His lawyers said the AWB was a cultural movement that would now enter politics and become the voice of the right-wing in South Africa.

But our correspondent says that voice that was all but silenced in South Africa's most recent elections in April, as the country moved on and abandoned its past.



SEE ALSO
Obituary: Eugene Terreblanche
04 Apr 10 |  Africa
Jail for Terreblanche
12 Mar 01 |  Africa


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