/ 22 November 2010

Terre’Blanche murder trial postponed

Terre'blanche Murder Trial Postponed

The trial against a man and a youth accused of killing right-wing leader Eugene Terre’Blanche was postponed in the Ventersdorp Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

Chris Mahlangu (28) and his 15-year-old co-accused allegedly murdered the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) leader in April at his farmhouse near Ventersdorp.

Their trial was expected to start on Monday but was postponed to December 6.

Earlier, defence counsel Zola Majavu SC said the defence was not ready for trial yet.

Journalists were not allowed to attend the postponement because the 15-year-old youth’s identity was protected under law.

Media organisations had to apply for permission to attend the trial, which was held on Monday morning.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson advocate Mthunzi Mhaga said there would be no separation of trial.

Swastika emblem flags
Outside court, uniformed AWB members, carrying swastika emblem flags, lined the street, while the courthouse was cordoned off with yellow crime-scene tape.

Mahlangu was released in July on R5 000 bail but re-arrested in October after a Pretoria High Court judge said the magistrate in Ventersdorp had made “incomprehensive findings” in his granting of bail.

The judge found that Mahlangu was a flight risk.

At a previous appearance, the court heard that Terre’Blanche carried a panga with him everywhere he went and he frequently took off his underpants because of the heat.

Shortly after the murder there was speculation, fuelled by reports of Terre’Blanche being found dead with his pants down, that he had attempted to sexually assault his killers.

The motive for the crime was believed to be over a wage dispute and missing cattle.

The court heard that Terre’Blanche had been struck multiple times with such force that his jaw was broken and a bone had pierced his tongue.

Meanwhile, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) in the North West criticised the NPA in a statement on Monday morning, saying it should have handled other alleged crimes against farm workers with the same efficiency.

“Cosatu demands that the NPA must go and deal with all cases where farm workers have been victims with the same efficiency they have dealt with in this case of Eugene,” it said in a statement. — Sapa