Eugène Ney Terre'Blanche (January 31, 1941 – April 3, 2010)

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Eugène Ney Terre'Blanche (January 31, 1941 – April 3, 2010) Empty Eugène Ney Terre'Blanche (January 31, 1941 – April 3, 2010)

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Leader of the
Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging
In office
Succeeded by To be determined
In office
Born January 31, 1941(1941-01-31)
Ventersdorp, South Africa
Died April 3, 2010 (aged 69)
Ventersdorp, South Africa
Political party AWB
Spouse(s) Martie Terre'Blanche
Children 1 daughter
Residence Ventersdorp
Occupation police officer (SAP), farmer, political activist
Religion Afrikaanse Protestantse Kerk (APK)

[img]Eugène Ney Terre'Blanche (January 31, 1941 – April 3, 2010) Et110[/img]

Eugène Ney Terre'Blanche (January 31, 1941 – April 3, 2010) was a Boer-Afrikaner who founded the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) during the apartheid era in South Africa. Until his death, Terre'Blanche remained leader of the AWB and continued to push for an Afrikaner secessionist state within South Africa.

Eugène Terre'Blanche's grandfather fought as a so-called "Cape Rebel" for the Boer cause in the Second Boer War, and his father was a lieutenant colonel in the South African Defence Force.

The progenitor of the Terre'Blanche name (translatable as either 'white land' or 'white earth' in French) in the region was a French Huguenot refugee named Estienne Terreblanche from Toulon (Provence), who arrived at the Cape in 1704. The Terreblanche name has generally retained its original spelling though other spellings include Terre'Blanche, Terre Blanche, Terblanche and Terblans.

Born on a farm in the Transvaal town of Ventersdorp on January 31, 1941, Terre'Blanche attended Laerskool Ventersdorp and Hoër Volkskool in Potchefstroom, matriculating in 1962. He joined the South African Police, and was initially deployed in South West Africa (now Namibia), which had been given to South Afica under a United Nations Trust mandate after World War I. Upon returning to South Africa proper, he became a Warrant Officer in the Special Guard Unit, which was assigned to members of the Cabinet.
Political career
Herstigte Nasionale Party

During the late 1960s, Terre'Blanche increasingly opposed what he called the "liberal policies"[citation needed] of B. J. Vorster, then Prime Minister of South Africa. After four years of service in the SAP, he resigned to pursue a career in politics, running for local office in Heidelberg as a member of the Herstigte Nasionale Party. His bid was unsuccessful.
Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging

Disillusioned with the established venues for political participation, Terre'Blanche founded the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (Afrikaner Resistance Movement, AWB) in Heidelberg in 1973, initially as a secret society. The AWB first appeared on the public scene after its members were charged with and fined for tarring and feathering Floors van Jaarsfeld, a professor of history who had publicly voiced the opinion that the Day of the Vow, a public holiday in remembrance of the Battle of Blood River, was nothing more than a secular event with hardly any real reference point in history. In the years that followed, Terre'Blanche's speeches at public gatherings often evoked the Battle of Blood River, and his oratorical skills earned him much support among the white right wing in South Africa; the AWB claimed 70,000 members at its height.
Throughout the 1980s, Terre'Blanche continued to present himself and the AWB as an alternative to both the National Party-led government and the Conservative Party, and he remained staunchly opposed to the reform policies of PW Botha to establish additional, albeit still separate, parliamentary chambers for non-whites, and to grant suffrage to Coloureds and South Africans of Indian origin. The organisation's strongest support was found in the rural communities of South Africa's North, with comparably few supporters in urban areas.

Terre'Blanche viewed the end of apartheid as a surrender to communism, and threatened full scale civil war if President FW de Klerk handed power to Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress. When De Klerk addressed a meeting in Terre'Blanche's hometown of Ventersdorp in 1991, Terre'Blanche led a protest, and the Battle of Ventersdorp ensued between the AWB and the police, with a number of people killed. In an attempt to disrupt the negotiation process in 1993, Terre'Blanche led an armed invasion of the World Trade Centre in Kempton Park while negotiations were in progress. The AWB were consequently defeated while invading Bophuthatswana to prop up the autocratic leader of the bantustan in 1994 and, subsequently, Terre'Blanche did not follow up on his earlier threats of war.

Media image

Terre'Blanche and the AWB were seldom out of the media during the 1980s and first half of the 1990s. Terre'blanche's powerful oratory and apocalyptic images of race war often featured, with the image of heavily armed AWB members parading in uniform, sometimes hooded. However, this image of the rise of the far right was not the only image projected by the media, which increasingly ridiculed Terre'Blanche and his supporters.[citation needed]

Terre'Blanche was lampooned in the 1991 documentary The Leader, His Driver and the Driver's Wife, directed by British filmmaker Nick Broomfield. A sequel, His Big White Self, was first broadcast in February 2006. Terre'Blanche was also interviewed by Louis Theroux in the episode 3.3 Boer separatists of the BBC series Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends.

In 1988, the AWB was beset by scandal when claims of an affair with journalist Jani Allan surfaced. In July 1989, Cornelius Lottering, a member of the breakaway Orde van die Dood group, orchestrated a failed assassination attempt on Allan's life by placing a bomb outside her Sandton apartment.

Broomfield's 1991 documentary claimed that Terre'Blanche had an affair with the Sunday Times journalist; a claim she denied as well as her portrayal in the documentary. This led to Allan taking libel proceedings against the documentary broadcaster Channel 4 in 1992 in the London High Court. During the trial, several transcripts of their alleged sexual relationship appeared in the South African and British press. Terre'Blanche also submitted a sworn statement to the London court denying that he had had an affair with Allan. Although the judge found that Channel 4's allegations had not defamed Allan, he did not rule on whether or not there had been an affair. Terre'Blanche was widely ridiculed after he was filmed falling off his horse during a parade in Pretoria.

In 2004, he was controversially voted No. 25 in SABC3's Great South Africans from a list of 100 South African personalities. Controversy over the list led the SABC to cancel the television series.[citation needed]

Following the end of apartheid, Terre'Blanche and his supporters sought amnesty for the storming of the World Trade Centre, the 'Battle of Ventersdorp', and other acts. Amnesty was granted by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Later years

In March 2008, the AWB announced the re-activation of the political party, for 'populist' reasons, citing the encouragement of the public. Reasons for the return have been attributed principally to the electricity crisis, corruption across government departments and rampant crime. Throughout April 2008, Terre'Blanche was to be the speaker at several AWB rallies, encompassing Vryburg, Middelburg, Mpumalanga and Pretoria

He had recently been calling for a “free Afrikaner republic” and had vowed to take his campaign to the United Nations' International Court of Justice in The Hague in a bid to secure this. In June 2008, it was announced that the AWB Youth Wing would be launched and Terre'Blanche was to be its founding member.
In a recent video interview, he voiced his objection to a proposal to change the iconic Springbok emblem of the South Africa national rugby union team (Springboks).

In September 2009 he addressed a 3-day convention attended by 300 Afrikaners which was intended to develop a strategy for "Boer liberation". Terre'Blanche reinforced earlier claims for land in Northern Natal and the Eastern Transvaal. In October 2009 several right-wing groups led by Terre'Blanche plotted their future plans at a Ventersdorp meeting. In an interview with the Mail and Guardian he said he wanted to unite 23 organisations under one umbrella, in order to take, as he had vowed, the fight of "the free Afrikaner" to the International Court of Justice.

In an interview with the Mail and Guardian, he stated that he would publish his biography, Blouberge van Nimmer (The Blue Mountains of Long Ago), in December 2009.

A complaint was lodged in December 2009 with the South African Human Rights Commission regarding inflammatory comments he was alleged to have made.
Conviction and prison sentence

On June 17, 2001, Terre'Blanche was sentenced to six years in prison, of which he served three years, for assaulting a petrol station worker and the attempted murder of a security guard in 1996. One of only three whites in the Rooigrond prison near Mafikeng, during his time in prison he became a born-again Christian[not in citation given] and later claimed to have moderated many of his more racist views. Terre'Blanche was released on June 11, 2004 and the AWB website claims these court cases and other scandals involving him were fabricated by the 'Black Government and the left wing media'.

Paul Motshabi was permanently disabled when he was beaten up by Terre'Blanche in 1996. He was crippled and intellectually impaired by brain damage sustained in the attack, and his wife left him. He was one of 16 victims of violence in the North West of South Africa who received new houses as part of the national government's campaign to mark sixteen days of activism against violence against women and children.


Terre'Blanche was also a poet. Prior to the 1994 multi-racial elections, his Afrikaans-language works were on the state syllabus of Natal schools. Upon his release from jail, he quoted Wordsworth's poem I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud. He had previously released a CD of his poetry collection and most recently a DVD.


Terre'Blanche, who had lived in relative obscurity since the the collapse of his organisation, was murdered in his sleep on his farm Villana just outside of Ventersdorp on April 3, 2010. He was reportedly beaten to death with pipes and pangas by two black men, one of them a minor, allegedly over "a wage dispute". Terre'Blanche's body was found on the bed with facial and head injuries. Ventersdorp police said two suspects were taken into custody over his killing. South African President Jacob Zuma called for calm following the murder, calling it a "terrible deed"; his words were echoed by the AWB and organisations including AfriForum and Solidarity. The murder took place in the midst of a racial controversy in South Africa involving the singing of a song by African National Congress Youth League leader Julius Malema that includes the lyrics "Shoot the Boer". The murder would "inflame tensions" in South Africa, Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille said.
Eugène Ney Terre'Blanche (January 31, 1941 – April 3, 2010) Et210


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