Eugene Terreblanche, "whose very name highlighted the white supremacist's roots," according to the BBC obituary, was murdered this Easter weekend in South Africa. As Nick Broomfield, who once made a documentary on the Afrikaner insurgent (His Big White Self), told the BBC, Terreblanche was "an unpleasant piece of work."
This is definitely a case of reap what you sow, what goes around comes around, and live by the sword, die by the sword. The impending end of apartheid saw his AWB unleash terrorist bombings that might have gone the way of the OAS scorched earth campaign in the last days of French Algeria, and later Terreblanche beat a farm worker so badly that the man suffered brain damage and is paralyzed. For this and other crimes, Terreblanche did prison time in the new South Africa.
What has South Africans of all colors worried is that Terreblanche's death will call attention to the spate of murders of white farmers in rural South Africa, and comes only days after the Supreme Court had to ban the song "Shoot the Boer." Not good publicity on the eve of the World Cup.
Terreblanche's name and his apartheid cause are synonymous with racism in Africa, but of course whites do not have a monopoly on racism. Just ask Zimbabwean farmers. One of the keys to South Africa's continued success has been its relatively peaceful transition from white minority rule, thanks to the inspired leadership of Nelson Mandela. Nevertheless, some 3,000 white farmers have been killed since apartheid's fall.
In East Africa, tourists can buy Mzungu t-shirts, and charity worker Mzungu Mike explains that the Swahili word means "white person, presumed rich." It's mostly in good fun - most Kenyans and Ugandans see the presumed rich mzungus as potential contributors to their own livelihood.
In Nigeria, white people are sometimes called oyibo (these guys, among the rare white tourists who have braved Nigeria, took it as a term of affection, as in "what are these crazy oyibos doing here?"). And the Nigerian government has been smart to profit from Mugabe's Pyhrric expulsions of white farmers, offering land to many white Zimbabweans, who plan to stay in the country.
Afrikaner author Marq de Villiers, another Huguenot descendant, wrote in his 1987 book "White Tribe Dreaming" that Terreblanche was a "bittereinder of his day." Like his bitter ender forebears who refused to buckle to British rule after their defeat in the Boer War, Terreblanche could never adapt to a country where one-man-one-vote was the law of the land.
Live by the sword...