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AWB's violent homeland invasion remembered

By unknown | Mar 13, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Elisha Molefe

Elisha Molefe

North West politicians want South African storytellers to turn the invasion of former Bophuthatswana homeland by members of Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) into a big-screen blockbuster.

Politicians expressed their feelings at the commemoration of 13th anniversary of the Bophuthatswana uprising, which honoured victims of the invasion. The commemoration was held at the SAB exhibition centre in Mafikeng, North West, on Sunday.

Members of the AWB invaded Bophuthatswana on March 10 1994 claiming they had been called in by former Bophuthatswana president Lucas Mangope to quell a popular uprising against his regime.

The invasion was led by rightwing leaders such as Ferdi Hartzenberg and the AWB's Eugene Terreblanche.

By the time the invasion ended, more than 60 people had died and scores had been maimed for life by the white supremacists.

But some of the invaders were also killed by the then Bophuthatswana security forces.

South Africans and the rest of the world will never forget the graphic footage of the execution of AWB members Alwyn Wolfaardt, Fanie Uys and Nico Fourie by former Bophuthatswana homeland policeman Bernstein Menyatswe.

Menyatswe shot the three as they lay wounded next to their Mercedes-Benz after a skirmish with the homeland police.

The killings took place in front of television cameras and were broadcast throughout the world.

The acting premier of the North West, MEC Johannes Tselapedi, said: "It is still not clear why there is such silence about the history that unfolded here, and which played itself out internationally during the dying days of apartheid."

Aletta Nkoane, a representative of the victims of the uprising, said the government should help them to educate their kids.

"The victims of March 10 and 11 have mandated me to ask the government to give our children bursaries. We do not want hand-outs from the government, what we need is education for our kids," she said.

Nkoane lost her husband during the uprising.


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