Monday, April 5, 2010

Well, This Is a Start to Chilling Out

The right-wing party that the day before vowed revenge for the murder of white supremacist Eugene Terre Blanche ... today backed away from the threat of violence.

This is a welcome reduction in rhetoric in a country teetering on the brink of, well, let's call it what it would be ... a race war. Just as the 2010 World Cup is hoving into view.

The move away from the "vengeance" stance also came on the same day as the South African Communist Party condemned the killing of Terre Blanche ... putting the communists squarely in the camp of careful moderation.

Who knew?

Overall, it was a day for chilling out. With some exceptions.

The spokesman for the ABW party, which represents the hard right of Afrikaner politics, said that "In the heat of the moment certain statements were made, and I would like to retract those statements." He maintained it was the party's policy "that no member will engage in any form of violence, intimidation, racial slandering or anything of that (sort). It will not be tolerated." He said, however, it was difficult to keep the party's members "calm."

However, the ABW seems likely to call for a portion of South Africa to be ceded to whites, apparently on the "homeland" basis that the apartheid regime used to fence off ethnic minorities. Interesting concept.

Julius Malema, however, appears to represent a flash point here, with the ABW calling for president Jacob Zuma to muzzle the ANC's Youth League leader.

The spokesman said Zuma's first job should be "closing Julius Malema's mouth," suggesting that he go back to school and join the boy scouts "so that he can learn humility."

Anyway, a day of cooling tensions. Everyone interested in the World Cup, or an orderly world, has to be pleased.
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