In Tshing, a decaying township outside Ventersdorp, a Soweto football
derby encounter generates more excitement than the news of Eugene
On the morning of Easter Monday,
Thobile's Tavern was abuzz with drunken patrons seated on beer crates and a
group of raggedy youths huddled outside at a small window, vying for a better
view of the TV.
"If Pirates lose today, I bet Terre'Blanche will rise
from the dead," said a patron, to a burst of mocking but uneasy laughter. While
some residents fear racial attacks following Terre'Blanche's death, the dominant
sentiment is that "the
chickens have finally come home to roost".
"Ventersdorp will be a different place without him, but
that does not mean that the boers are going to change. In fact, things could get
even worse," said community leader Mbulelo Maneli, as a black bakkie sped past
Van Tonder Avenue with vierkleure flapping from the
Terre'Blanche's influence on the Afrikaner community was
powerful, Maneli said. Many Afrikaners in the area believed in the "stupid
ideology" of the establishment of a boer republic -- so it is "a good thing he
Members of the AWB -- young and old, clad in khaki and camouflage
regalia -- sped into Ventersdorp at the weekend for a moment of prayer outside
the Schoonspruit Estate hall, proudly waving vierkleure and "oranje, blanje,
blous" (the old South African flag).
Maneli said: "The thing is that most
of us feel nothing for Terre'Blanche and the farming community around here.
These people are brutes and, given half a chance, they will skop you to
death, just as those boys did to Terre'Blanche."
An ailing Maria
Motshabi, sister of Paul Motshabi, whom Terre'Blanche paralysed when he assaulted him with an iron
pipe in 1996, said: "Ek is bly
die bliksem is dood [I am glad the bastard is dead]." Terre'Blanche served three
years in prison for the crime.
She said she worked for the Terre'Blanches
for 11 years as a kitchen maid and cannot recall one happy moment in their
"Ben Battle was a soldier
bold, And used to war's alarms;
But then a cannon-ball took off his legs, So
he laid down his arms."