/ 8 April 2010

Tight security for Terre’Blanche funeral

Tight Security For Terre'blanche Funeral

Fire trucks, ambulances and various police units are being sent to the North West town of Ventersdorp ahead of the funeral on Friday of murdered Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) leader Eugene Terre’Blanche.

Police spokesperson Adele Myburgh said on Wednesday that “the police were prepared for anything” in Ventersdorp.

“Additional ambulances, the fire department and various police units, as well as a special unit for public order, policing are being deployed to the town,” she said outside the Afrikaans Protestant Church where Terre’Blanche’s funeral will take place on Friday.

“We are ready for anything.”

Terre’Blanche was beaten and hacked to death on his farm outside Ventersdorp on Saturday.

He will be buried in a grave on the farm after the funeral.

Terre’Blanche’s family had requested the police to help with their safety.

Myburgh said North West Premier Maureen Modiselle was expected to attend the funeral.

The Terre’Blanche family had agreed to her attendance.

A large international media contingent was due to cover the funeral.

Ventersdorp was calm on Wednesday, but on Tuesday white and black protesters had to be separated with barbed wire outside the Ventersdorp Magistrate’s Court when Terre’Blanche’s two alleged killers appeared.

The white group sang apartheid-era national anthem Die Stem while the black group chanted “hero” when one of the alleged killers was escorted out of the court.

On Wednesday a white farmer in the nearby town of Lichtenburg was arrested for assaulting seven of his black workers.

Prime-time TV blow-up
Meanwhile, the AWB’s secretary general was escorted from the studio of eNews programme Africa 360 after threatening his fellow interviewee, political analyst Lebohang Pheko, on Wednesday.

André Visagie, who was a guest on the prime-time news show ripped off his microphone and threw it to the floor before storming from the set.

He immediately returned and became embroiled in a verbal spat with host Chris Maroleng, who came to Pheko’s defence.

The argument stared when Pheko badgered Visagie about the abuse of farm workers in South Africa, without giving him time to respond.

Visagie, who earlier this week said the AWB would avenge Terre’Blanche’s murder — a statement that was later retracted — told Pheko not to interrupt him.

He then got up, ripped off his microphone and walked off.

When he returned and approached Pheko, pointing a finger at her, Maroleng tried to step between them and push Visagie away.

“Don’t you dare touch me in my studio,” Maroleng said repeatedly. “You’ll be in trouble.”

The AWB member replied: “I’ll touch you in your studio.”

Visagie was escorted from the set, but turned back again. Pointing his finger at Pheko, he said: “I am not finished with you.”

Maroleng could be heard asking Visagie: “Mr Visagie, stop threatening this woman now. Why are you threatening this woman? She is just giving her opinion.” — Sapa