Eugene Terreblanche’s murder, Allister Sparks’ books

Right-wing extremist Eugene Terreblanche will not be missed.

Right-wing extremist Eugene Terreblanche’s recent murder, allegedly by two black people, has prompted calls for a race war from supporters of the party he founded.

It may not happen. 

The fiery and bearded Terreblanche has become an increasingly marginal figure since he led an armed invasion of the World Trade Centre at Kempton Park in the early 90s, according to many. 

Acclaimed journalist Allister Sparks describes this and many other scenes in vivid detail in Tomorrow is Another Country, a book that tells the behind-the-scene negotiations that led to the nation’s first democratic and free elections in 1994.

The book opens at Sidney Frankel’s farm, where chief negotiators Cyril Ramaphosa and Roelf  Meyer were looking to build their relationship by fishing with each other.  Meyer got a hook caught deep in his hand, Ramaphosa’s wife, a nurse, tried vainly to remove it.

He continued to bleed profusely for an hour before Ramaphosa grabbed a pair of pliers and said, “Roelf, I’ve always wanted to hurt you Nats [Nationalist Party members],” he told Meyer as he yanked, “but never as much as this.”

“Well, Cyril,” muttered Meyer afterward, “don’t say I didn’t trust you.”

The weekend led to a foundation of trust that withstood many tests, including Terreblanche’s World Trade Centre assault.

The party has largely collapsed since then, and from its height of 70,000 members during the apartheid era, AWB membership has fallen sharply. 

The racially hierarchical and inflammatory views Terreblanche and his followers espoused had their roots in the Nazi ideology, and, before that, in the American eugenics movement, a period of history Facing History and Ourselves has done extensive work on in the past 15 years.

Sparks’  The Mind of South Africa, modeled on W.J. Cash’s The Mind of the South, is a fascinating look at the intellectual sources of the apartheid regime and mindset.  Sparks writes extensively about Jan Van Riebeeck’s hedge of bitter almonds in Cape Town that from the beginning showed the separation of European and Dutch from the indigenous population.

During the spring break in October 1995 I had the privilege of seeing the hedge’s remnants, and have to admit that I felt a little bit like the musicians in Spinal Tap when the mini-Stonehenge appeared.  

Sparks’ book also discusses the Dutch Calvinist influence on the Boers and their sense both of being chosen and persecuted-a sentiment that also contributes to extremist ideology.

Terreblanche’s death is being treated with caution and respect by South African leaders.  His murder marks the end to a controversial and inflammatory life given to the service of racist ideology.

He will not be missed.

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11 responses to “Eugene Terreblanche’s murder, Allister Sparks’ books

  1. mad props on the Spinal Tap reference!!

    One of my all-time favorite movies, and a prime example of the denial we were in back in the racist days. My band-mates and I would watch Spinal Tap religiously every weekend after practice, knowing well that many of the brilliant people that brought Spinal Tap to life were Jewish but conveniently ignoring that fact even as we wrote horribly anti-semetic songs. I’m still exploring the thought process that led to intelligent people doing such dumb things, but it really boils down to us simply shutting out the reality of Jewish people making the world a better place.

    The symptom of being simultaneously chosen and persecuted certainly presents in all of the racist ideology I’m familiar with. I described it as the belief that “The White Race” is at once mighty and fragile, and necessitating protection at all costs.

    I’m not up-to-speed on the particular’s of Terreblanche’s murder, but I do know firsthand how racial extremists will spin any event -especially death -into a call-to-action. I was behind the spin myself when my friend Chuck was murdered. That murder wouldn’t have happened if he hadn’t followed the path of racism -a path I helped lead him down. I imagine the same could be said for Terreblanche.

    And I must beg to differ about him being missed. No matter how heinous his words and deeds, no matter how many people he hurt, he was a human being like anyone else and there are likely people who loved him despite his hatred. The fact that his life was consumed by racism is as sad as the violence he perpetuated against innocent people.

    Thanks again for this story and your blog Jeff. I’ll continue to read, learn, and enjoy.

    peace,
    -arno

    • jeffkellylowenstein3

      Hey, Arno,

      Thanks very much for your typically insightful and thoughtful comment. I hear you about saying Terreblanche will not be missed, and perhaps should have spoken for myself only, rather than in a more general sense. Thanks for calling me on that point.

      I’m always glad to connect with another Spinal Tap lover! I’ve rarely laughed harder at a movie, and I’ve seen a bunch.

      What’s going on these days with LAH?

      Jeff

  2. in the liner notes for Centurion’s “14 Words”, which was rife with songs advocating the wholesale murder of Jews, we tacked on “this one goes to 11” in homage to Spinal Tap, which was, as we knew, created in part by Harry Shearer, whose parents were Jewish immigrants. While the contributions of Jewish people to culture and society in general are vast to the point of being almost uncountable, it was the humor and artistic brilliance of people like Harry Shearer, Jerry Seinfeld, and The Beastie Boys that were absolutely crucial components in my ideological turnaround. I’ll always be grateful to them for that, as I continue to enjoy their work. And I hope they can forgive me along with everyone else for the horrible things I’ve said and done.

    Perhaps one of the saddest and most damaging effects of racism is that it can lead otherwise peaceful people to violence as they express their disdain for it. I brought up Terreblanche’s humanity as much to remind myself of it as anyone else. We must always bear in mind that peace is an inclusive process that must especially include those who are most opposed to it as a matter of practical principle. It is this noblest of concepts that makes the pursuit of peace one that requires the utmost courage and faith in basic human goodness. Men like Terreblanche live to be hated and feared. Treating them with unconditional love and respect is the most effective means of rendering their hatred powerless, albeit much, much easier said than done!

    Life After Hate is coming along nicely! We’re gearing-up for our fourth issue, which will be available April 18th. Please check it out and let me know what you think. Working on LAH has been an amazing experience so far and we all look forward to keeping it going for a long time to come. Thank you again Jeff for the conversation and advice that helped me put LAH together.

    • jeffkellylowenstein3

      Thank you, Arno, for the multiple points you make here and the work you continue to do. I appreciate your honesty and applaud your journey toward healing and greater piece.

      I’ll make sure to check out the latest issue of LAH-good luck with the next one!

      Jeff

  3. I am a white Afrikaner girl who also despised what happened under apartheid, but the fact that we cannot get rid of the chip on the shoulder, stand together and build a better future is beyond my comprehension. If I as a white person had to sing “Kill the Kaffir farmers (of which there are not too many – at least not productive in any sense (look at Zimbabwe!), I would have been stopped long ago and I would have need a jolly good lawyer at my side. Why is Julius Mulema allowed to carry on? If he’s so concerned, why does he not share some of his luxuries with the “poor”? Take away his houses, cars, designer suits and he might just start singing another tune altogether, perhaps he’ll beg a “boer” for a job and put in a decent day’s work for a change.
    By the way, I live in Namibia where crime per capita is not much better and we have our share of farm murders as well – Wentschner and the Kruger family last year.
    If I had to brutally murder every individual I have a dispute with, where would I have been? I have been could a “fucking boer bithch” for hooting at someone who made an illegal U-Turn and almost causing a pile up. Should I have cracked his skull with a base ball bat?
    Please bring back the death penalty!

  4. jeffkellylowenstein3

    Thanks, Maria, for your comment. I am sorry to hear that you have been subject to verbal abuse for reacting to bad driving.

    I also will say that I only lived in your country for a year at the beginning of the post-apartheid era and have been back just once since then, so have less experience there than you do.

    That said, I would ask you, based in part on my time in your country as well as having lived here for more than four decades, to think about why folks might have some trouble standing together and building a better country together in a nation that practiced institutional racism for centuries.

    In addition, I pick up in your comment the notion that other people’s wrongdoing somehow justifies other misdeeds. I have a different view on that issue.

    I also do not support the use of the death penalty.

    Thanks again for posting and good luck in Namibia.

    Jeff

  5. I am also sorry to hear of the violence in your country Maria. But as Jeff points out, violence will always beget violence. I know that you, like all human beings, want to live a peaceful life where people treat each other with kindness and respect. And I know it’s exceedingly difficult to display the bravery necessary to break the cycle, but that’s what has to be done to end the violence. There are certainly people of all ethnicities who seek peace; why not work together to reconcile the past so that everyone can move forward?

    • jeffkellylowenstein3

      Well said, Arno.

      Thanks for continuing the dialogue.

      Maria, do you have any thoughts about what we have written?

      Jeff

  6. Good grief man. The AWB was simply the sock puppet that the State set up in order to discredit / misdirect & control the Afrikaans self determination movement. The AWB was “meant” to be extreme in order to “discredit” the just & centuries long struggle for Boer self determination. None other than the late Fritz Meyer a well known Boer Patriot noted that Terre’Blanche “did the just cause [ of Boer self determination ] a lot of harm” in 2000 during an interview with Louis Theroux of the BBC. The BBC just yanked the Youtube video of this [ citing copyright ] but more likely to suppress this important fact.

    The Boer people have been struggling for self determination ever since they were lumped into the macro State of South Africa. IE: the Maritz Rebellion of 1914 & the movement to restore the Boer Republics during the 1940s which was scuppered by the Afrikaner establishment.

    The Boer Patriot Robert van Tonder left the National Party in 1961 [ the same year that the usurper Verwoerd turned the macro State into a nominal republic ] in order to advocate for the restoration of the Boer Republics & founded the Boerestaat Party after the other political parties did not want to support Boer self determination.

    The Boer people are have been under Afrikaner domination ever since the Cape Dutch / Afrikaners began to colonize the Boer Republics after the second Anglo-Boer War. The Afrikaner establishment are STILL working hard to prevent the Boers from reclaiming their stolen republics. The Boers were ALSO under Apartheid & were initially not allowed to marry the Cape Dutch / Afrikaners as Theuns Cloete [ of Boervolk Radio & the Transvaal Separatists think tank ] noted.

    The Boers were too impoverished to resist being co-opted by the ascending Afrikaners during the first half of the 20th cent but have been increasingly reasserting their identity which was overshadowed by the Afrikaner’s due to their illegitimate claim to the Boers’ heritage. The struggle for Boer self determination is opportunistically maligned by the ruling elite as they do not want the Boers to reassert their inherent right to self determination as the elite stand to lose control over the Boer Republican region. The purpose of the restoration of the Boer Republics is for the liberation of the Boer people whom are not much more than 34 % of the White Afrikaans speaking population.

    • jeffkellylowenstein3

      Thanks for your comment. Even if I disagree with much of you write, I appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts.

      Jeff

  7. Well you claim to “disagree” but do not elaborate on what you disagree
    with. Over the past fifteen years [ ever since I started learning about this obscure topic ] I have debated everyone from Westerners / Black Nationalists / Pro South African Staters / White Nationalists / & Afrikaner Nationalists & other folks who have a predisposed anti-Boer self determination bias. I commend you on posting my response as some [ cowards ] have censored my contributions in the past.

    I should point out that everything I stated can be sourced & the main point concerning the Afrikaner domination of the Boer people is substantiated by a Professor named Tobias Louw [ noted in an open letter he addressed to the ISS in 2003. ] & by an anti-apartheid Dutch born South African journalist named Adriana Stuijt. [ Noted here at this link. among other places as well. ] [ Who was threatened by the National Party / Broederbond in the past over her courage in opposing / exposing them ].

    A local English speaking South African author named Peter Stiff EXPOSED in his book War by Other Means the fact that Eugene Terrre’Blanche was trained in dramatic speech by the Security Police [ from whence he was from ] & alleges that he was an agent for the State supplying it with the names of the members of his State controlled AWB organization.

    The following link to an IOL article notes that Robert van Tonder left the National Party in 1961 as he rightly felt that the new Republic of South Africa was a total betrayal of the Boer people & the Boer Republics.

    The Afrikaner establishment is well on the record for spending millions of dollars [ & much more Rands ] & propagandizing against Boer independence & self determination. The population of the Cape Dutch population [ ie: the non-Boer descended Afrikaners of the western Cape region ] stood at about 300 000 during the late 19th cent. The Boer population [ the folks of Trekboer & later Voortrekker descent ] stood at about 200 000 during the late 19th cent. After 50 % of the Boer child population died in the British created concentration camps in 1901 [ 24 000 Boer children died in the camps ] the Boer population took a hit in numbers to the point where there were never more than about 34 % of the total White Afrikaans speaking population.

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