AWB gags top official after TV fracas

AWB general secretary André Visagie has been gagged after his outburst on e.tv's Africa 360 show on Wednesday night.

Visagie threatened political analyst Lebohang Pheko for interrupting him during the recording of a show on race relations in South Africa.

Visagie, who threatened to avenge AWB leader Eugène Terre'Blanche's death when the right-wing leader's death was confirmed last Saturday, lost his temper on the show, ripped off his microphone and stormed off the set.

He returned wagging his finger at Pheko, saying: "You won't dare interrupt me . I am not finished with you," as e.tv crew members intervened to restrain him and his bodyguard.

AWB spokesperson Pieter Steyn said yesterday: "I don't think it is appropriate for Visagie to make any statements right now. The AWB is not prepared to comment (further) on the matter yet.

"We are going to have a central committee meeting after the funeral and after that we will issue a media statement."

Africa 360 anchor Chris Maroleng, who left to cover Sudan on Wednesday night, defended Pheko by almost taking Visagie on physically. He warned his bodyguard not to touch him.

The Human Rights Commission (HRC) said it had not yet received a complaint about the incident.

HRC spokesperson Vincent Moaga said the matter would be best dealt with by the police.

But Pheko said yesterday she was not fazed by Vasagie's intimidation and would not lay a charge against him.

"I am fine and not worried about my physical wellbeing," she said. "What does worry me is that this incident exposes the anger and rage that exists in some communities - and in Visagie.

"I think someone who makes that sort of threat on television is stupid."

E.tv spokesperson Vasili Vass said; "eNews is disappointed in the behaviour of the AWB general secretary. We understand that debates can get heated from time to time, but this is no an excuse for losing one's temper or to threaten others.

"Maroleng tried to defuse the situation and prevent it from escalating. eNews is happy with the way he dealt with the situation."

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