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South Africa begins murder trial of Eugene Terre'blanche

Racial tensions escalate during white supremacist's murder trial

Eugene terreblancheEnlarge
Eugene Terreblanche, former leader of the neo-nazi Afrikaner Weerstand Beweeging (AWB), speaks at a public meeting after being released from prison. (Alexander Joe/AFP/Getty Images)

The trial of two blacks who were accused of hacking South African white supremacist leader Eugence Terre'blanche to death began Monday, exposing deep racial divides in South Africa, reports News 24

Chris Mahlangu, a gardner on Terre'blanche's farm, and an unnamed 16-year-old minor have been charged with the April 2010 murder. The murder highlighted the racial tensions in South Africa, 17 years after the abolishing of the apartheid system of which Terre'blanche had been a prominent supporter, reports Reuters.

Both have pled not guilty to the charges, which include housebreaking, robbery and hacking Terre'blanche to death with an axe. The 69-year-old Terre'Blanche's head was beaten with a knob-headed stick, and a machete was found still embedded in his flesh. His genitals were also exposed, reports the AFP.

The lawyer for the minor, who cannot be named under South African law, has argued that the boy was a victim of child labour, and had been verbally, physically and sexually abused by Terre'blanche, reports AFP.

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Terre'blanche was the cofounder of the far-right Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB), and his murder caused tensions between AWB supporters and black locals. According to the AFP, tensions have eased, but about 20 AWB supporter flew the apartheid-era South Africa flag along with provocative slogans.