S.African white supremacist caught with weapons

AP News
Posted: Mar 30, 2011 10:24 AM
S.African white supremacist caught with weapons

South African counterterrorism police have arrested a white supremacist and seized weapons, the National Prosecuting Authority said Wednesday.

Prosecution spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga said a lengthy investigation led to Andre Visagie's arrest Tuesday. Police also seized from Visagie's north-central South African home five homemade rifles, a pistol, more than 690 rounds of ammunition and a cell phone that could have been used to set off an explosion, Mhaga said. Visagie was charged with weapons offenses.

Mhaga refused to say whether Visagie also might face terror charges or elaborate on whether he is suspected of planning attacks.

"We're still investigating," Mhaga said. "We expect more arrests."

Visagie had been a leader in the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging movement, or AWB. The once-feared group has faded in prominence in recent years.

Visagie left the AWB soon after its founder, Eugene Terreblanche, was found bludgeoned to death on his farm last year. Visagie said he was forming his own group because the AWB was doing too little to protect whites.

Current AWB leader Pieter Steyn said Wednesday he had no comment on Visagie's arrest.

"He's not a member of my organization," Steyn said.

Next month, two black farmworkers go on trial in Terreblanche's beating death. His death had raised fears of heightened racial tensions, but did not set off racial violence.

Shortly after TerreBlanche's death, Visagie made a memorable appearance on a South African TV talk show, shouting and pointing a finger at a black analyst who had interrupted him. The confrontation was fodder for a popular South African rapper, who posted a mix drawn from the video on the Internet.