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Page last updated at 12:10 GMT, Wednesday, 14 April 2010 13:10 UK

African viewpoint: Songs and death

A dog (held on a lead by a private security company guard) reacts outside slain white supremacist leader Eugene Terreblanche's farm situated on the outskirts of Ventersdorp, South Africa
Mr Terreblanche was the very embodiment of his supremacist ideology

In our series of viewpoints from African journalists, Zimbabwean filmmaker and columnist Farai Sevenzo considers the fragility of the race truce hanging over the "rainbow nation".

These days the news is instant, isn't it?

You can be sitting in London and effortlessly tune into radio stations broadcasting live in Johannesburg the surprising tidings that one of the last century's most vocal proponents of apartheid - Eugene Terreblanche - had met a bloody and sticky end at the hands of two youths whom he allegedly owed R600 ($83) in wages.

These are the facts as many of us heard them.

How do they cope with the fear that hangs like dust around farms so stuck in the past?

And being of a certain age, I have known Eugene Terreblanche's name for far longer than the 28- and 15-year-old youths now charged with his murder.

Terreblanche seemed, as Shakespeare might have put it, like "a man who scarce confessed that his blood flowed, or that his appetites were more to bread than stone"; and was the very embodiment of his supremacist ideology.

And the news of his demise, such as it was, spread like a veld fire over discussion boards, status symbols and YouTube clips, as the internet made the emotion of this moment in history quite viral.

The two young murderers were suddenly lost in this emotion, and no-one said much about them for a while and the facts of their dispute with their boss remained a mystery.

But why let the facts get in the way of a good story?

One dead racist

For where there is drama, there must be dramatists and compelling characters.

An Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB) member holds a picture of AWB leader Eugene Terreblanche and an AWB flag tied to a cross during his funeral at a church in Ventersdorp
Terreblanche was buried last Friday

Instead, we heard the gruesome fact that this killing of another white farmer raised the figure of the farming murdered since liberty landed here to over 3000.

And it did not help that a young president of the ANC Youth League - Julius Malema - had been making headlines with his rendition of a struggle song which expressed his desire to shoot the boer, kill the farmer .

And so the words and lives of these two men - one a dead racist, the other expressing the views of a live one - filled up the bulk of the week's reading and column inches were filled in a bid to connect the two.

Of course the connection is a tenuous one, no office of statistics, no investigation in the thousands of killings of both black and white has discovered that a murder was committed because the killers were inspired by a politician's provocative song.

And anyone familiar with southern African revolutionary movements will find the same kind of songs in Zipra, Zanla, Frelimo, Swapo, and the MPLA.

Revolution, when it occurred against the twin evils of colonialism and apartheid during our lifetime, made men and women sing songs about their Kalashnikovs, about grenades, bombings and murder in a bid to boost morale against formidable enemies.

Sing a struggle song

And as Africans, we do not have long to peer back into the past to see the significance of such songs to our collective history.

Vuyisile Mini, secretary of the Dock Workers Union of Port Elizabeth, is credited with having had a choir singer's voice and creating tunes like Izakunyathel'l Africa, which was aimed at Hendrik Verwoerd, the architect of the apartheid policy, and his words went:

"Africa is going to trample on you, Verwoerd.
Verwoerd! Shoot...
You are going to get hurt...
Verwoerd, watch out."

Mini was hanged for treason in Port Elizabeth jail on 6 November 1964. The last thing he did with his dying breath was to sing a struggle song.

African National Congress Youth League leader Julius Malema (left) from South Africa meets with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe during his visit to neighboring Zimbabwe
President Zuma's Youth League President was flattered and likened to a bull

Not so long ago the president of the republic himself, toyi toyied to an election victory on the notes of such a song, singing "Bring me my machine gun."

He never told us what he would do with it once it got into his hands, but would he have been elected had he added the refrain, "Shoot the boer"?

Manhood and testosterone

But President Zuma is a consummate diplomat, capable of biting and blowing kisses in the same breath, a talent his Youth League president has yet to learn.

Mr Malema, it seems, belongs firmly to that group of post-struggle revolutionaries, whose credentials as veterans of the struggle are belied by their tender years and extreme lack of tact.

The president has had to blow his diplomatic kisses yet again to cool tempers and remind everyone of the demons that could be awoken when people lose their heads

It was Kamuzu Banda, who, at the age of 68, ordered anyone 67 and younger in Malawi to join the youth league, or the Young Pioneers, as they were known.

And so Africa's Liberation movements have been filled by old men posturing as youths for decades, but Julius has no such excuse.

If anything, his hugely influential position in the governing party, twinned with his grassroots popularity has merely fashioned a demagogue in the making rather than a future leader.

And, in one weekend, on a bank governor's farm in Zimbabwe, Mr Malema undid Thabo Mbeki's quiet diplomacy and Jacob Zuma's tightrope diplomacy with the neighbours in the north, by cheerleading without restraint land policies which Zimbabweans themselves were acknowledging had been ill-prepared and implemented:

"Here in Zimbabwe you are already very far... We are just starting..." said the singing mascot.

As those wining and dining him massaged his ego, and chanted "Bull Malema!", a reference to his manhood and testosterone levels not to the aroma of his words, he returned to Johannesburg to pour scorn on Robert Mugabe's opposition and ruined months of diplomacy and government to government mediation.

Love triangle?

As the grieving farmers in Ventersdorp prepared to bury their dubious champion amidst scenes of raw anger and hate, Mr Malema was kicking a journalist out of a press conference.

A follower of the Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB) leader Eugene Terreblanche brings flowers to leave at the gate of his property near Ventersdrop, 140km West of Johannesburg, South Africa
Rumours abound that the white supremacist's death is linked to a sex assault

The events of the last week showed how fragile is the race truce which hangs over the "rainbow nation" and the internet has been awash with unsavoury points of view harking back to a time of hangings and cruel race hate; thoughts of guns and murder are threatening to derail a much anticipated World Cup and the president has had to blow his diplomatic kisses yet again to cool tempers and remind everyone of the demons that could be awoken when people lose their heads.

Which takes me back to that murder on Easter Saturday.

I for one would like to know all the facts pertaining to that evening.

Who were these young men?

What are their lives like?

How do they cope with the fear that hangs like dust around farms so stuck in the past, was it really the non-payment of 600 rand which led to the white supremacist's murder, and is there any truths to the rumours that a love triangle between three men went badly sour , and that the white supremacist liked to sexually abuse black boys?

But the trial has been postponed until next month and no reporter has been willing to tell the farm workers' story, preferring instead the ranting of a Sandton-based new revolutionary.


Thanks for your comments. Please read a selection below:

You people forget that ANC's Malema and Eugene Terr (ET) are on opposite sides of this race divide. They are are the ones with the biggest problems but we all seem to look over the majority of South Africans (Black and White) who just want 'GET ON WITH IT' Manu Many Many South Africans are absolutely fine with each other and are really keen to make things work. I think what is needed is a moderate political party that can meet the needs of both sides and they can begin with attacking the basics. Fix the shanty towns, put in running water and electricity. Lets get on with it now please.
Anonymous

I think this was a beautifully written article. While I would like to say it is balanced, it is more reasonable to say that it is diplomatic.

As a boer in South Africa, I would like to say that most of my ilk are committed to peace and would be deeply gratified to see the economy deepened by black economic success and integration into the economy. It would benefit everyone if the market and the economy were bigger, and we know it. Why is this not happening? And, what, without breaking the economy by destroying land ownership rights, can farmers do to assist in integration of blacks into the economy. In the end, everyone is trying to survive and each man is for himself. From an economic perspective, the best way to integrate blacks into the economy would be to equip them with an excellent education and provide them with access to capital to start businesses. Because of disastrous dallying with the education system in the early days of the rainbow nation, the liberated generation of youth are more poorly equipped with education than ever before, including inability to manage their finances at anything more than a very basic level. Access to capital has been available to the BEE entrepreneurs, but this has only clustered wealth in the hands of a few.

The future is uncertain, but because minorities with skills are being sidelined in South Africa, it is my belief that the ANC is doomed to lead us into a failed state. What happens afterwards is what to me will be really interesting. It is my hope that a government willing to take on the cooperation of minorities will emerge. If to achieve nothing more than keep everyone fed, serviced with water and electricity and to maintain and grow the economy. It would greatly help if our country could lose the politicians who stir the race hatred pot. We are cursed with that. And, it very much in ANC interests to stir this pot, so that discontented blacks keep voting for them. We all just want to chill, and we need the chance to do that.

The hope and lot of the poor in this country is gloomy. And I doubt this gloom will ever go away.

Perhaps, if everything were equalised, people would be content: not made envious by wealthy countrymen, but still poor. This is communist, (everyone equalised,) and I don't think the country will be able to feed itself on this dogma.

This country needs a lot of prayer. In the end a strong economy with broad levels of black integration into the economic profit that results is the only way to achieve the goal of economic equality without destroying what we have already. But I also think this will take a long time to achieve, if the ship doesn't sink in the mean time.
Bruce, Oudtshoorn, South Africa

@ Daren. Thank for your contribution but I don't think there is a deliberate plan to kill or exterminate whites, or scare them off - am sure you know that!! c'mmon get serious!! yes there is hatred between some blacks and whites, but NOT the ANC government, that ended in 1994, efforts to kill other human beings because they are white, why?? it is 2010!! remember those in power want to be seen as progressive by the rest of the world for their own good!! and you think they want to kick out whites?? i think you are caught in the old world, i hope you are mature enough for me to waste my breath to highlight there basic fundamental human expectations: chances are you only found apartheid here when you came into this world, please remember most blacks can distinguish that, true, South Africa has its own share of murders but don't mislead the world that South Africa is out to get whites, that's so shallow and nonsense, in fact i hear the same rubbish in Australia and there is no truth to it, yes whites despise blacks and some blacks are angry about the past (have you ever thought about that???) but leave it there, those are realities south Africa has to deal with in time!! some blacks and whites will never get along but so is the rest of the world, Australia, the US, the UK. let no one take for granted that whites feel out of place either because they are not happy about current South Africa or are indeed left out, but please don't underestimate the pain of the past...if you tow that line you will never have peace in South Africa, full stop!! it would be noble to acknowledge the past but you in your capacity can not chose when people move on...u have neither the right nor the moral Authority to say that. As i alluded in my earlier article you must know your boundaries lest you are mistaken for the oppressors and so should blacks. I have no doubt there are so many bitter black folks out there that make whites feel unwanted but do you believe that's the feeling of all blacks? if you do i probably will not give audience to your response because we all know South Africa is a very complex but also very accommodating nation. AS i indicated earlier lose the attitude of expectations and LEARN to compromise and respect each other, that's the only way all peoples of south Africa will ever be united, other than that stop dreaming about peace etc...embrace "ubuntu" painful as it is if no one has told you that.
Anonymous

Every story has three sides. The polarised views on each side and the truth that lies somewhere in the middle. I am glad the the writer took the time to show this. It appears that South Africa is still as divided as it ever was.
Gareth, London

I take exception to the importance and responsibility this article, and many like it, give to Julius Malema. Malema is being used as a scapegoat for a wider, deeper problem. In theory South Africa is a multi-cultural democracy with a respect for the law and for the constitution. In practice, South Africa has an ever increasingly dysfunctional democracy (take the growing numbers of service and housing delivery riots as an example) with a growing disregard for the power of law. Malema didn't create this. Yes he feeds the situation, but the over-riding issue is that a increasingly large amount of people in South Africa support the principle of land grabs, nationalisation and autocracy. And unless the ANC government begin delivering jobs, houses and better services, South Africa is going to succumb to the typical African short-term thinking.
Nick, Durban, South Africa

Everyone in South Africa knows that racial tension is well and alive here, more prevalent than HIV in Africa and easier to ignite than petrol. Day to day lives are easily influenced by this, merely on the way to work in the morning, chatting to our colleagues around the water cooler or having dinner with the neighbours. Say the wrong thing, listen to the 'wrong' music, applaud the 'wrong' politician and the next moment there it is - you are a racist. We are so used to this being thrown around that it is in reality just part of life. UNTIL - some demi politic young upstart, let's call him Julius M for now, starts intentionally blowing flames of hatred around our country.

Suckers as we are the more fair-skinned South Africans naturally take exception, cause who wants to hear that 'your kind' should be killed for issues that 1. were caused by a handful of politicians, 2. happened at least 15 years ago, and 3. has no relevance to any current situation? Then way-out extremists start answering on behalf of 'the whites', stirring up more tension. LEAVE ME OUT OF IT!! I might be white, but I AM NOT YOU! My neighbours might be black, indian whatever, but he and she are NOT YOU!

I believe the majority of South Africans (read all colours included) all just want to live in peace, have jobs and be responsible for our own destiny. I don't want to share your religion, nor your race, nor your culture. I however choose to respect those things. I don't have to agree with what you say, but I will ensure that you have the right to say it. Just don't force me to believe it or have my family killed because of what you believe.

We cannot afford to keep living in the past - apartheid as a system is dead, we live in a democracy, the far right-wing are not existent except for a few people still hiding in their holes since 1994, service delivery and corruption are problems and affects our lives NOW, not 15 years ago. Affirmative action has had its day, what a country can't manage in 15 years will not ever be achieved.

BUT - if you want to set fire to a situation here mention the past, then suddenly we all forget about the future. Say that about South Africans - we have veeery long memories.
Floris Binneman, Johannesburg, South Africa

The AWB did not even exist anymore. They had not had a formal meeting since before ET went to prison. This murder on ET was not of a political leader, it was simply another mindless killing of an old man on his farm like 3,000 before him because the ANC party is determined to rid South Africa of white skinned people. This plan plays out in many ways. Violent crime and murders on white people continue unopposed by government, jobs are not available for whites, contracts are not available to white companies and many other subtle tactics are used to get the white man out of South Africa. Unofficial sources put the number at more than a million white South Africans who have left for Australia, Canada, UK and New Zealand under these subtle threats and pressures from the ANC. The pressure on us whites to leave SA is huge. If the doors to the USA were open to us you could put the figure at 3 million easily who would leave SA straight away. The ANC certainly don't want us here (even though we've been here for 400 years). They may not say it officially, but we know we're no longer welcome. Either all the Whites will emigrate or be killed, but Africa will fulfil its desire to rid themselves of white people.
Daren, Pretoria, South Africa

Kudos for the African (black) viewpoint - we always hear and listen to the world through predominantly white-controlled instruments. The official death of apartheid did not mean concealed supremacist thinking came to an end. There are many latter day supremacists who wage racial wars in boardrooms and cheekily declare racial tolerance in the open (drink wine preach water!)...these pause a bigger threat to racial harmony. Nationalism represents the latter day racism and i have this feeling many years down the centuries our generation will be viewed as having practiced an abhorrent form of discrimination that barred the poor from freely going to mix with the rich while confessing one united world.
Moses Ndiritu, Nairobi

Please read the news, Farai. Both Lawyers of the defendants rejected the sexual molestation claims. Yes Eugene was a racist, and quite a lot of the ANC members as well. Do this really matter? If different races in a country shows tolerance and respect towards each other racism will die. As a white South African or outcast many people like me do not count for anything in this country. For example, if you wait in a queue to pay or get service, the black teller would help other blacks who simply push past you. This Farai is just a small insignificant irritation that moderate South Africans or outcasts like myself have to endure. There are of course black people that do not have this attitude or intolerance towards other minorities. My frustration lies with the fact that I was born in this country and that my friend do not count for anything if you are white. The world hates whites and white racism, but genocide like in Rwanda??!! Come on, stop the cheap politics!!!!!
Marius, Brakpan, South Africa

A very interesting article albeit very diplomatic to say the least. The suffering of indigenous South Africans endured during the years of apartheid can never be understressed. I find it rather distasteful that so much focus is concentrated on the death of a person who openly supported this policy and its gruesome consequences. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying murder should be the answer, and the perpetrators must be brought to justice and punished. I think it's important to understand the kind of emotions which tragedies like this bring about. One speaks of 3000 white farmers murdered since "liberty". Who speaks about the 50 (mostly black but also white) people murdered every single day due to the astronomical high rate of violent crime in South Africa? Don't they also have the right to be mentioned? The problems SA is facing today are very complicated but one cannot deny the fact that the main cause was/is colonialism, the bloody wars (English vs Boer, Boer vs Zulu etc) and of course apartheid. I also feel that ironic comments like the one from Angela who takes a swipe at the press for publishing so vehemently about this issue an affront to put it mildly. This isn't about boulevard newspapers making a mountain out of a mole. This about deep scars which will take years to heal and such pathetic comments won't help this process. Face reality folks, if all parties are not careful and not willing to address the serious problems SA faces today, little sparks like the death of ET could throw SA and the whole region for that matter back into the dark ages.
Patrick Kamata, Zambian in diaspora

If after all these years of the end of Apartheid there is still this one white man who commands a large following that believe whites are superior to blacks (sitting on your carrier's shoulder and telling him his head stinks), then it is good riddance to bad rubbish.
Pormasu Kaiwandy, Juba, Sudan

Farai's point of view on the journalists' choices of ignoring the other side of the murder (on who these youths are) is true and clearly shows how divided or taking sides the media has taken on this issue. A day after Terreblanche's murder, SABC 2 had a discussion program on his death and Malema's freedom lyrics. On the panel there were two black University academicians and two white discussants. From the look of things, the panel was totally on either side of the topic. the whites blamed Malema's singing the song as a catalyst for the death but the black asked why no one criticised Terreblanche for his extreme public racist stance. They said that when a white man like Terreblanche demonises blacks no one cares but when a black young man like Malema sings a freedom song people take offence. Such views to me shows that, the reconciliation charter that exists now in SA is just like a sleeping giant. Its just the existence of Mandela and Tutu which makes it stand. I am afraid the time these noble personalities pass on, I don't think this Charter will still hold water. Youths, like Malema's hearts are heavy. Apartheid massacres like the 1976 one, still haunt them. They seem not to understand why they should continue wallowing in abject poverty even after sacrificing their youthfulness for freedom. They are bitter and in most times, their anger goes into drops of revenge. Malema may lack tact, but he surely knows what he is doing by singing that song, and he surely means what he sings. Looking from the vantage point, one is able to see that, youths want to be heard and felt that they too contributed a lot to free South Africa yet they have less opportunities for survival. From afar one may think racism is a for gone thing in SA; that's not true. As long as the majority wealth will remain in a few hands of whites as it still is now, the reconciliation Charter is volatile and its a pity.
Mazuba Mwiinga, Livingstone, Zambia

the problem is that whites in south africa have not reconciled with the blacks. They do not appreciate the extent of the price blacks paid for the peace they enjoy today. They derail and hinder change through the courts and attack on every front. If violence breaks out they will have themselves to blame. They cry hunger with a loaf of bread under their arms.
victor rapulane, pretoria

Predictable as it may appear to agree with the writer, Farai does have some good points, how can an adult that big and who most likely carry's a firearm, has other family or friends on the premises be murdered by those youths among whom a 15 year old?? I don't believe for a second that the killing was racial, although simplistically it is the easiest conclusion to draw given the mistrust between different South African communities. It appears that communities within South Africa have definitely laboured to co-exist since 1994 to date but have a very long way to go because they all harbour deep emotions, anger and contempt towards one another caused by their past. Where people still feel disenfranchised politically, financially or otherwise inevitably you will probably hear hate speeches against the haves by the have nots. Whites rightfully feel politically marginalised and it's a perfectly normal feeling given their dominance in the past, but have not critically analysed or appreciated how too soon apartheid ended and therefore how fragile and emotional blacks still are deep inside. There is a mismatch of expectations here, whites feel blacks should move on and forge ahead however way they can. Blacks still feel real justice was not or is yet to be served as their dear black leaders quickly discarded revolutionary politics and revenge for a collective and inclusive dispensation for white and black south Africans as citizens. In an effort to forge ahead blacks were ostensibly expected to compromise, however cruel apartheid was to them and whites were expected to accept the new democracy however much they despised it and also be willing to at least equalise/share economic gains accumulated over so many years, sad as it sounds, to also keep their views to themselves to avoid digging up old wounds (this still happens on farms). As much as most of South Africa is trying to moved on and co-exist, a part of it (blacks and whites) has not and it's this small part of it that is bound to inflame this very fragile unification process. However truth be told many black still feel something is not right either with the new regime while all was wrong with the old one (before 1994). For instance efforts like the truth and reconciliation commission were seen as having rubber stamped pardons for criminals with no real closure for victims mostly blacks, noble as the whole process was for Bishop Tutu and Nelson Mandela it brought no relief, or make up for lost time, lost loved ones, wasted youths, lost or missed financial prosperity over so many years, heal scars of past aggression etc, all these questions and many more still remain unresolved hence the very fragile nature of unity in the rainbow nation. So am not surprised people still sing "songs" either to seek comfort that they can still overcome their challenges or to identify with any force that represents a glimmer of "false" hope like Charismatic Mr Malema besides the bureaucratic ,slow and ineffective central government machinery. So I think Mr Terreblanche's killing had nothing to do with his colour but a fact of life and other realities confronting South Africa (and the world) today including poor economic empowerment, luck of mutual respect, decadent morals and Aids you name it.
Isaac Kanyike, Australia

Music can be a powerful source of inspiration and of comfort. Perhaps some new songs are needed, songs that bind the nation's wounds instead of picking at scabs that are still fresh for many people.
Scott W, Port Orchard, USA

killing one because of their colour is never justified, but while the focus is on the 3,000 farmers that have been killed since 94, is there any statistic as to how many farm workers have been abused and killed by the farmers? what did the AWB have to say about the farm worker killed by their leader? violence begets violence.
thato serankabanyana, Gaborone Botswana

I just wish for once the media would be honest and straight forward, most of the articles the BBC has had on South Africa and its issues, whether it be Julius Malema's, Eugene Terre Blanche or Zuma, you seem to love to twist the truth to chase up anger instead of calling a spade a spade, I can interpret so many of your recent reports into plain and simple truth or lies and unfortunately many come up lies or misleading words twisting the truth and some statements just plain rubbish that is not even researched. Most often you know so little about our country and then through ignorant reporting paint the incorrect picture completely. Today's media is a joke. The truth almost never comes out anymore. Feel free to contact me should you want clarification on some facts. Also it seems to be a crime to be white and proud of it, why so, being black and proud is ok??? When the facts are laid out the truth of the matter is that the Catholic Church and the UK are the cause of the whole Southern African issue to start with, or is it that you just choose to forget your part in the whole mess. I think some serious restitution and apologies are in order, publically on a large scale here to overt genocide.
ClintSA, Johannesburg, South Africa

Just another dead Hitler, left to me, this is one good riddance to bad rubbish and a warning to those egocentric megalomaniacs who go to live on our Continent and bring along their pathetic ideals of Biology being the determinant of ones place in life. I just wonder why this took this long. The threat of Terreblanche followers to lunch a race war in RSA, if carried through will be the heightened height of stupidity. God Bless Africa!
dele olubodun, london

I was born in Johannesburg in 1949 grew up during apartheid. In 1971 I sailed out of Durban headed for the Caribbean. Once here I felt liberated. I had a time trying to understand just who or what I am. I am a white man, born with black African people all round me so many showing me true love. But we were separated by the insane laws of Apartheid. In the West Indies I was free to mix with any person or people. Going home to South Africa truly woke me to the real horrid fact of Apartheid, it really hit me hard to realize we grew up thinking ill of black people just because of the colour of their skin. My goodness then a man like Nelson Mandela is liberated comes out of his many years under arrest leading our nation to be a Rainbow Country, all people equal and showing how to respect all races of humans. I can tell you it is not smart to think ill of a human purely because of his or her colour, race, religion or sex. We are all animals of this Earth we must respect our differences and embrace friendship or love the hate side is a loser I feel certain of that. Like I say, to my friends in business or scratching a living, "Money does not see the colour of our skin it sees what we do to achieve it , that is all no more it is paper and metal how can it see differently?" So all humans are working for the same end, MONEY, let's stop being crazy about race just respect and learn from each other it's easy, just as easy as being stupid and racist.
Guy Clothier, Virgin Gorda British Virgin Islands

As a human being, regret the killing of Eugene Terreblanche and can only ask South Africans to be patient and wait for the investigations of the police. However, i am really worried that the South African government still allows rantings from people like Julius Malema of ANC and Andre Visagie of AWB. Unfortunately the ANC is the ruling party and the AWB a dying pressure group.

The image of ANC has been greatly undermined whereas the AWB continues doing just what they should have been stopped from doing. It is unacceptable for people to be parading with swastika like flags preaching violence and this goes unabated.

Remember, the AWB issued a statement calling for a well coordinated revenge. It was later withdrawn but the withdrawal seemed just to be a mere "diplomatic" move because on a live television programme on ETV, Mr Visagie, promised to continue with violence.

I call on South Africans to look again and engaged in more useful economic reforms as well as curb corruption. Black or white South Africans should learn more technical, industrial and economic skills instead of focusing more on how to revolt. On the other hand, white or European South Africans be taught the need to see in good faith a "redistribution" of the national wealth.
Agendia Aloysius, Orebro, Sweden

The historical sweep of this fascinating take on current events elevates it from the shrill and short-sighted commentary that prevails elsewhere. Mr Sevenzo clearly knows his onions.
Neil Treacy, London, England

In a rainbow nation as South Africa and in the world of nowadays, no one needs to kill the racism. It will die naturally.

We we will confirm this in two months time the human nature will prevail. The human nature is NOTHING with revenge and fightings, better or worst, superior or inferior.

We simply win or loose. Let's go to see the futebol!
Filomena Coelho, Soyo, Angola

Humans created wealth disparity so don't bring God here. I am neither black, white nor coloured. In this country South Africa unless wealth distribution is not brought about it is going to be chaos. The whites here are taking all they can getting the heck out of SA. And countries like Canada, Australia and UK welcome them. The rich blacks on the other hand is stuffing their pockets as much as they can. Just look at the expenditures of the government - ministers shamelessly using extremely expensive cars while their black brothers starve. I have seen it myself personally the miserable lives of the poor blacks in the rural areas. It is shameful to this country. The rich white farmers treat the black workers like slaves giving them a pittance to survive. In the early hours of the morning you will see this poor souls waiting for a vehicle to take them to the farms where they toil till the evening. You can pray to GOD all you want unless there is real intervention from the ruling party whoever it may be. The lives of the mass population is going to get worse.
Tutor, Cape Town

It's unfortunate that people still carry racism in their hearts. I know very well that South Africa belongs to both blacks and whites as a matter of fact. But let my dear brothers and sisters know that mistreating others does not show respect. The blacks as we are considered inferior to the whites, we deserve the right to live peacefully and happily in our countries. I strongly call upon the legal team in South Africa to do whatever is in their mean and make sure that the suspects get true, fair and concentrated justice. They should be judged on the ground of facts and not basically on who has what? formula as others do! Also our great leaders should voice out the catastrophic consequences of racism and build in their followers the sense of togetherness. Happy are those who treat each other as brothers and sisters!
Mukembo Mulungana George, Kampala, Uganda

Who could resist, in this day and age, an opportunity to haul out some old footage of swastikas and snorting, lathering horses? Certainly not the European media, what with Europe's own dalliances with fascism so tantalizingly recent, let alone that there are more white supremacists in Europe today than there ever were in South Africa in the heyday of Eugene Terreblance. Add a dash of Julius, who fits our favourite banana republic dictator stereotypes as comfortably as Mobutu wore his Fez, and it's pure sensation.
Angela, Pretoria, South Africa

If you look at the lyrics of some of our Revolutionary and Civil War songs, they are just as inflammatory. But because they deal with issues 100, 200 years old, the sting is gone. Or look at 'La Marsillaise', or that verse in 'God Save the Queen' about "rebellious Scots to crush", or "Men of Harlech".
Bruce Alan Wilson, Charleston, WV, USA

Thank you Farai for this article. It is quite interesting and enjoyable. As for the murdered Supremacist leader, I would suggest that no one should rush to judgement or point fingers at each other or awake the sleeping dog. As it is popularly said 'all criminals are innocent until proven guilty in the court of law.' Like you said, there are varied reasons for his murder and the exact cause has not yet been determined. Until that cause is determined, we should keep our fingers cross and allow the law enforcement to do their to the best of their knowledge. While I do not support the culprits taking the laws into their hands, they didn't just kill this guy for fun. Something definitely led to his demise. I would like to commend President Zuma for trying to defuse a tense situation which have brought back old memories and the issue of black and white. I believe that as children of God, we are one. We should 'LOVE' one another. The physiology of the black man is not different from that of the white or Asian man. There are and still inter-racial marriages. I never knew about the existence of Mr Terreblance until now. I knew about the struggle in South Africa when the late Nigerian musician Sonny Okosun sang 'Fire in Soweto' and the fund raisings that were held in Nigeria to support our brothers and sisters during apartheid era. There is a need for peace and harmony as the World Cup approaches. Let us make this World Cup a memorable for the spectators as South Africa is the first African nation to host it. Personally, I am colour blind. Who you are as a person is more important to me than your colour. I strongly believe that God created all the different races in the world as a test for mankind...to see how much we love, cherish and embrace each other irrespective of our different colours, languages and faith. I personally urge our brothers and sisters in SA to put their differences aside and forge ahead for peace, unity and harmony. Thank you Farai once again for your interesting article!
Omorodion Osula, Boston, USA



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