Three AWB members shot and killed during the invasion of Bophuthatswana

AWB members shot in Bophuthatswana Image source

Friday, 11 March 1994

On 11 March 1994 hundreds of Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) (Afrikaner Resistance Movement) members drove into Bophuthatswana, a Bantustan homeland in the north western region of South Africa. This followed a request by Chief Lucas Mangope for their assistance to help restore control in the homeland, in the face of a strike by civil servants. These civil servants were demanding that the Mangope government introduce political reforms and adjust to the changing political circumstances in South Africa.

Under the leadership of AWB leader, Eugene Terre’Blanche, the right wing AWB members randomly attacked residents in the Mafikeng town of Bophuthatswana, killing 42 people. Three AWB members were shot dead by members of the Bophuthatswana Defence Force. Shortly after the incident and in a climate of widespread revolt, Chief Lucas Mangope was removed from power and a temporary administrator was put in his place by the Transitional Executive Council (TEC).

A former Bophuthatswana policeman, Ontlametse Bernstein Menyatsoe, applied for amnesty from the Truth and Reconciliation Committee in 1998 for his role in the killing of the three AWB members, Alwyn Wolfaardt, Fanie Uys and Nico Fourie.

• Watson W. (2007).Brick by Brick:An Informal Guide to the History of South Africa online. Available at  Accessed on 10 March 2014
• SAPA. (1998). TRC told slain AWB trio were victims of a war situation online. Available at . Accessed on 10 March 2014
• Masemola L. (2010). Killer of 3 AWB men threatened from IOLNews, 12 April.   Available online. Accessed on 10 March 2014 

Last updated : 14-Feb-2019

This article was produced by South African History Online on 10-Mar-2014

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