Police officers escort one of the men accused of killing Eugene Terre'Blanche (Schalk van Zuydam, AP)
Johannesburg - The murder of Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) leader Eugene Terre'Blanche was no ordinary crime, but a political murder, "probably involving government", the agricultural union TAU-SA said on Tuesday.
"The cruelty and barbaric actions which is evident during such murders, was repeated in the case of Mr Terre'Blanche, and does not relate to the alleged motive," said TAU-SA president Ben Marais.
The situation in South Africa was much worse than the general perception and called for drastic intervention, he said.
"If we look at the course of events during the previous weeks, an upsetting pattern has materialised in which the murder of Mr Eugene Terre'Blanche is but one incident.
"We are afraid that this is not the end unless drastic intervention by government or by the citizens themselves takes place.
"Racial polarisation is a reality, and the trigger for further conflict lies in the hands of the ANC Youth League and its radical leader (Julius Malema), who apparently cannot be called to order, responsibility and discipline by the ruling party."
Marais said that farm killings had increased in recent weeks, nationalisation of agricultural land was on the agenda, and the "inflammatory song "shoot the boer" had made an appearance.
"Finally a well-known leader was murdered," he said.
Terre'Blanche was murdered on his Ventersdorp farm on Saturday, allegedly by two farm workers, over a labour dispute.
The two, a 15-year-old and a 27-year-old, appeared in the Ventersdorp Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.
"TAU-SA is tired of the fact that an environment is deliberately created to discredit farmers.
"Notice was taken that during the protests at the Ventersdorp court hearing, once again allegations were made against the farmers, which creates a climate for radical elements to justify similar brutal attacks.
"TAU-SA rejects statements that farmers treat their workers badly."
Workers 'should seek better treatment'
If workers felt they were being badly treated, there were sufficient statutory institutions they could approach for help and where their grievances would be considered and examined.
Workers could also leave those farms to seek better treatment, accommodation, salary and fringe benefits elsewhere, Marais said.
"Perhaps the time has now come to make a serious appeal to farmers to reduce their workforce and to mechanise for the sake of security and peace of mind.
"Since the murder of Mr Terre'Blanche, TAU-SA noted that an increasing number of cases appeared reflecting labour related issues.
"Farmers should be mindful that it seems as if this is the latest cause for disputes declared."
Marais said the union was tired of the ongoing, deliberate efforts to transform criminals "to appear to be the heroes and to project farmers as criminals".
"We cannot accept this any longer," he said.
"The fact is that the ANC has lost control of itself and of the country.
"What is taking place in the country is nothing less than armed propaganda for a liberation that we thought was in place 16 years ago."
Marais called on farmers to tighten their security.
"What we can do right now, is to repeat what we've said before, namely that neighbourhood and farm watches should be activated as a matter of urgency. We believe that we are only facing the beginning of bigger problems."