resurrecting(ion and) the AWB

April 4, 2010

Resurrection Sunday has always been a day of theology for me. In 2007 and 2008 I wrote blogsposts on this day reflecting on the resurrection, and in 2009 a few days later. But on this resurrection Sunday what is called for is not a philosophical reflection on understanding the resurrection, today we need the resurrection to come alive in South Africa. Today, resurrection Sunday calls for a response of public theological nature.

Last night Eugene Terre’Blanche, well known leader of the AWB, the most right-wing white party in South Africa, was murdered. All reports so far confirm that this was because of a dispute over salary, and done by two of the workers on his farm. However, the first 12-18 hours after the news came out has seen a renewed surge of racism and even calls to arms in South Africa. President Zuma, as well as many other important voices in South Africa, has called for calm reaction, and high profile figures from the ANC government, such as Genl. Cele and Minister Mthetwa, is involved to help things remain calm.

However, I have personally experienced how the comments being made by Julius Malema, leader of the ANC Youth League, and the prominence given to him by the media, has caused a renewed anger among even very open-minded and positive white South Africans. And with his “Kill the Boer” case fresh in the memories of South Africans, this event can easily be made into a political moment which didn’t underly the murder. Whether it is the call to arms from white supporters, or the insensitive “he deserved it” from his opponents, it’s not helping South Africa.

This event can be a trigger to resurrect the AWB. To give reason why Terre’Blanche’s hope for a white homeland should be resurrected. To kill so much of what we have worked for in uniting the races of this country. But on the day of the most important festival of the largest religion in the world, also the largest religion in South Africa, and the religion to which both Mr Terre’Blanche and the leader of the ANC, President Zuma (although in very different forms) subscribed to, is it possible for a country, whether Christian of not, to hope for life to come out of death? Is it possible that in the face of this death, people from different races can come together to mourn another murder? To give condolences to a family who has lost a father, to them who have lost a friend?

Can this be the moment where black South Africans can say that it is possible to forgive? To repeat what President Zuma has said over and over again, that in this country people of all races must come together to build this nation. Is it possible for white South Africans to state loudly that we will not put our hands to the gun. We will not politicize every crime in this country. And we will speak out with the strongest possible critique against those who will use this tragic event to pour fuel on racial hatred in South Africa.

Because however you understand the resurrection, and however you celebrated this day, I believe today the question of whether the resurrection has meaning will be tested on how we approach the death of Eugene Terre’Blanche.


7 Responses to “resurrecting(ion and) the AWB”

  1. Lourens Says:

    Even though I would agree with your call to no arms I unfortunately have to wonder whether two young blacks would have resorted to the same type of action had it not been for Julius Malema. Just as much as we need to temper our reactions to foster better relationships between races, Julius Malema needs to do the same.

    I do however agree that we need to react differently to this than either Eugene Terblanche or Julius Malema would have for the sake of our country and its people,to whom I belong.

  2. […] woke up to reading this post by Cobus van Wyngaard: Resurrecting (ion and) the AWB. And the reality of what Easter HAS to mean, […]

  3. tiaan Says:

    Ek het nog net scary goed sover gelees, in particular die artikel deur Dan Roodt op Praag se website.
    Ek weet nie wat om te dink nie – ek weet net Opstandingsondag 2010 was vir my ‘n llet-down. Ek vier gewoonlik Paasfees met besondere belangstelling en vreugde (dis vir my cooler as Nuwejaar) en ek het nogal ‘n persoonlike behoefte aan ‘n “nuwe begin”-moment gehad dié naweek.

    Maar Saterdagnag laat op facebook en Sondagoggend vroeg word ek begroet met stories van ET, die AWB en Uhuru.

    Om dit te vererger word ek vanoggend, op Paasmaandag, wakker gemaak met ‘n sms oor 4 van ons gemeentekinders wat in ‘n ernstige motorongeluk was – lewend, op die oomblik, maar alles is nog nie verby nie.

    Ek worstel met God soos die Psalmdigter: “Hoe lank nog, Here? Gaan U ons vir altyd bly verstoot?”

    Ek smag na versoening. Ek smag na mense wat mekaar vergewe. Ek smag na tieners wat ophou dronk bestuur. Ek smag na ouers wat betrokke is in hulle kinders se lewens. Ekl smag na ‘n land waar almal se eerste skokreaksie nie een is van “gryp jou windbuks!” nie.

  4. nanuschka Says:

    Cobus, well said! Your post has put to words what I wanted to say. This murder, as sorry as it may be, is just another murder in a country where it happens daily. People need to stay calm and focus on the real problem at hand: crime and violence, instead of being manipulated into retaliation and action which will bring nothing but chaos. My God be with us all especially now with the World Cup at hand.

  5. bOrN2pwn Says:

    You really need to do more home work. The fire is burning and more feul is being pored onto it. Newspaper now claims he was gay and had sew with the 2 blacks thats a shit thing to put in the open why not some light sasol on fire. 2 other murders acured after ET was murdered. But 1 of them survived telling the story saying that they sang viva malema kill the boer while attacking then black newspapers newer printed the story. This country is in shit if the white people cant get it back well then hello zimbabwe here we come

  6. […] year’s reflection on the resurrection, where links to previous reflections can be found. Posted by cobus Filed in Kingdom of God, New […]

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