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Friday, November 20, 1998 Published at 11:39 GMT


Entertainment

Sorry South African rhymes

Eugene Terreblanche: A poetic way of saying sorry?

Jeremy Vine reports from South Africa


Jeremy Vine listens to Eugene Terreblanche's poetry
South Africa's most famous extreme right-winger is trying to show his gentler side.

Eugene Terreblanche - who once said he would die rather than live under an ANC government - is now living under an ANC government, and, instead of dying, he's writing poetry.

The leader of the AWB, which once recommended violence against black South Africans, has released a CD which praises nature.

The poems, accompanied by soothing music, show a sensitive side to the neo-Nazi leader.

The man who admitted responsibility for car bombs which threatened South Africa's first democratic elections in 1994 and which killed 17 people and who is currently appealing against his conviction for the murder of a black employee, writes thoughtfully and sometimes with remorse.

It is difficult to get over the drastic change of style between this set of poems and Mr Terreblanche's previous works which include the famous 'Attack attack' speech- not to mention his controversial 1993 speech 'Why?' or the tribute to Nelson Mandela released before he became president.

To many South Africans, Terreblanche and others from his era have become figures of fun.

A Johannesburg DJ says the CD may make it on to the playlist, explaining: "We've heard worse than this before."

And he said that perhaps this is Terreblanche's way of saying sorry.

"Maybe this is his attempt at truth and reconciliation - coming out saying 'maybe I was wrong'."





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