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Race institute: killing will have no impact on WC

 Followers of  the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) leader Eugene Terreblanche bring flowers to the gate of his property near  Ventersdrop, 140km We...
 The room, left,  were the leader of the white supremacist Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) Eugene Terreblanche was killed on his farm on the outski...
 Supporters of white supremacist leader Eugene Terreblanch react on his farm situated on the outskirts of Ventersdorp, South Africa, Monday, April  5,...
 Commander Pieter Styn, right, walks on the  farm of white supremacist leader Eugene Terreblanch, situated on the  outskirts of Ventersdorp, South Afr...
 The brother of white supremacist leader Eugene Terreblanche,  Andries Terreblanche, fastens a flag outside their farm on the outskirts of Ventersdorp...
 A woman with monkeys on her back takes a photo outside the farm of white supremacist leader Eugene Terreblanch situated on the  outskirts of Ventersd...
 South Africa's African National Congress Youth League leader Julius Malema, left, meets with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe during his visit  to ...
 African National Congress Youth League leader Julius Malema, left, from South Africa meets with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe during his visit  ...
 Flowers and a poster are placed outside the farm of white supremacist leader Eugene Terreblanch situated on the outskirts of Ventersdorp, South Afric...

APTOPIX SOUTH AFRICAN WHITE SUPREMACISTS

Followers of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) leader Eugene Terreblanche bring flowers to the gate of his property near Ventersdrop, 140km We...

APTOPIX South Africa White Supremacist

The room, left, were the leader of the white supremacist Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) Eugene Terreblanche was killed on his farm on the outski...

South Africa White Supremacist

Supporters of white supremacist leader Eugene Terreblanch react on his farm situated on the outskirts of Ventersdorp, South Africa, Monday, April 5,...

South Africa White Supremacist

Commander Pieter Styn, right, walks on the farm of white supremacist leader Eugene Terreblanch, situated on the outskirts of Ventersdorp, South Afr...

South Africa White Supremacist

The brother of white supremacist leader Eugene Terreblanche, Andries Terreblanche, fastens a flag outside their farm on the outskirts of Ventersdorp...

South Africa White Supremacist

A woman with monkeys on her back takes a photo outside the farm of white supremacist leader Eugene Terreblanch situated on the outskirts of Ventersd...

ZIMBABWE MALEMA

South Africa's African National Congress Youth League leader Julius Malema, left, meets with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe during his visit to ...

APTOPIX ZIMBABWE MALEMA

African National Congress Youth League leader Julius Malema, left, from South Africa meets with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe during his visit ...

South Africa White Supremacist

Flowers and a poster are placed outside the farm of white supremacist leader Eugene Terreblanch situated on the outskirts of Ventersdorp, South Afric...

With World Cup security plans under intense scrutiny following the killing of right-wing leader Eugene Terreblanche, the South African race relations institute downplayed the murder's impact on the safety of football's marquee event.
Lawrence Schlemmer, vice president of the South African Institute of Race Relations, told The Associated Press Monday that the tournament can help ease tensions in the country.
"There is no reason why these things, as tragic as they are, should affect the safety of fans or players at the World Cup," Schlemmer said. "The World Cup and sport, as it is supposed to, channels passions and reconciles conflict."
Schlemmer's comments, in a phone interview with the AP, came a day after South Africa's police minister Nathi Mthetwa said he was worried about the image of the host country following the brutal killing of Terreblanche Saturday on his farm near Ventersdorp, about 110 kilometers (68 miles) northwest of Johannesburg.
"We are always concerned about the perception of South Africa," Mthetwa said Sunday in Ventersdorp, close to the scene of the 69-year-old Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) leader's grisly murder.
"It's the violent nature of crime in South Africa that makes us be concerned and be worried."
But Mthetwa said the government has taken a tough stance against crime and the killing of Terreblanche, who was bludgeoned to death, will not affect the World Cup.
"I can say that with the plans we have put in place, with our tough stance in the fight against crime, we are starting to see the results," Mthetwa said.
"There will be no person who commits crime in South Africa and kill people or a person, and get away scot-free without the full might of the law."
Schlemmer said international media headlines that referred to a race war in South Africa were "superficial".
"Ever since the late 1950s there have been predictions of race war in South Africa," Schlemmer said. "The fact is that race war has never happened.
"There is no reason why these things should wash over to the safety of tourists," he said.
Terreblanche was killed in his bed in what police described as a wage dispute with two of his black workers. A 15-year-old male and a 28-year-old male have been arrested by police and will appear in court Tuesday.
The mother of the 15-year-old murder suspect told AP Television News Monday that her son struck Terreblanche with an iron rod after the farmer refused to pay him.
The incident has increased racial tensions in the country and added to safety fears less than 10 weeks ahead of the World Cup.
The AWB has said the singing of an apartheid-era resistance song by ANC Youth League President Julius Malema, which includes the lyrics "shoot the boer", led to the murder. "Boer" means white farmer in Afrikaans, the language of the descendants of Dutch settlers in South Africa.
On Monday, the AWB had planned to hold a rally at Terreblanche's farm but instead called for calm at an impromptu press conference. The group's interim leadership retracted its vow to avenge its leader's death.
AWB interim leader Pieter Steyn said statements had been made in the heat of the moment.
"The philosophy of the AWB is that no member of the AWB will engage in any form of violence, intimidation or racial slandering or anything of that nature," Steyn said. "The AWB leadership has called for calm countrywide by all AWB members."
AWB general-secretary Andre Visagie had said Sunday the killing of Terreblanche was a "declaration of war" by blacks against whites in South Africa.
Visagie said his group would tell teams to reconsider their participation in the World Cup.
"We're going to warn those nations, 'You are sending your soccer teams to a land of murder,'" Visagie said. "Don't do that if you don't have sufficient protection for them."
Team and fan safety for the June 11-July 11 event was already subject to close examination because of the country's high rate of violent crime.
The World Cup organizing committee said Monday that they would not comment on Terreblanche's murder. Local organizing committee spokesman Rich Mkhondo referred the AP to government statements.
Police and the South African government have said the murder was not a political crime, and would have no impact on the World Cup.
President Zuma called for calm following the "terrible deed" and asked South Africans "not to allow agent provocateurs to take advantage of this situation by inciting or fueling racial hatred."
The government is hoping to ward off any rise in racial tensions just over two months before a global spotlight falls on South Africa, the first World Cup host on the continent.
ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu told the AP that it was wrong for the AWB to cast doubt on security preparations for the World Cup. Mthembu said the World Cup was for all South Africans.
"This is a World Cup for all of us, not only black people of this country. We have to give all the support we can for the World Cup to happen here in South Africa."
"And we think our compatriots in the AWB should do the same as other patriotic South Africans."
Interpol secretary general Ronald Noble said in Johannesburg last week he was satisfied with South Africa's security plans for the World Cup. About 41,000 police officers will be deployed for the monthlong tournament.
Terreblanche emerged in the 1970s as a far-right challenger to South Africa's apartheid government, and had threatened to take the country by force if white rule ended. He was known to arrive at meetings on horseback flanked by masked bodyguards dressed in khaki or black.
Terreblanche's killing comes amid growing post-apartheid disenchantment among blacks for whom the right to vote has not translated into jobs, better housing or education.
South Africa hopes the commercial benefits of hosting one of the world's biggest sporting events will help address these problems for the poor black majority.
The AWB said Terreblanche's funeral will take place Friday in Ventersdorp.
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Associated Press writers Michelle Faul and Anita Powell in Johannesburg and Thomas Phakane in Ventersdorp contributed to this report.


Updated : 2021-04-12 15:42 GMT+08:00