NPA confident of securing ET murder conviction
The trial of two farmworkers accused of killing rightwing leader Eugene Terre’Blanche continues in the High Court sitting in Ventersdorp on Monday.
“Cross examination of [Captain Jan Louw] who visited the scene will continue and thereafter other witnesses will be called to lead further evidence,” National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said on Sunday.
“We are still happy with the way proceedings are going so far.”
The NPA was still confident of securing a conviction, he said.
Chris Mahlangu and a minor are accused of beating and hacking the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging leader to death in his farmhouse in the North West on Easter Saturday, April 2010. He was 69.
Both have pleaded not guilty to murder, housebreaking, and robbery with aggravating circumstances. Mahlangu claims he acted in self defence. The teenager has denied involvement in the crime.
Mahlangu made a last-minute application during his previous appearance on October 20 last year to be transferred to a police station in Pretoria so his family could visit him. Judge John Horn said he had no authority for such a transfer, and that Mahlangu should ask the police.
Breach of regulation
The court heard in October that no pathologist had been called to the crime scene, and that evidence could possibly have been removed from the body.
Not contacting a pathologist was a breach of regulation and “highly unusual”, pathologist Dr Ruweida Moorad told the court.
The mortuary manager was also not contacted.
Moorad said fluid resembling semen seen in photos of Terre’Blanche’s body may have been wiped off.
Defence attorney Norman Arendse suspected the semen may have been deliberately removed.
Moorad said the body had been refrigerated and her autopsy was carried out on April 6.
She said there were no acute injuries to Terre’Blanche’s rectum, and only a “linear abrasion” on his scrotum. There had been speculation, fuelled by Terre’Blanche’s being found with his pants down, that a sexual assault had taken place.
Terre’Blanche was most likely lying down when he sustained a chop wound to the head, which lacerated his brain, she said.
“It is my opinion that the injury to the head was the first injury, followed by the face, and then the chest and thighs,” said Moorad.
“Such an injury would have rendered the deceased unconscious at the time.”
Terre’Blanche sustained multiple fractures to, among others, his skull, ribs, and lower jaw. There were bruises and lacerations on several parts of his body, including his tongue and liver. All the injuries were on the front of his body.
Moorad found no “typical defence” injuries indicating Terre’Blanche attempted to fight off his attackers.
She agreed that Terre’Blanche’s wounds were consistent with those inflicted by a panga.—Sapa