/ 29 April 2011

ET case may be delayed again

Et Case May Be Delayed Again

The Eugene Terre’Blanche murder trial may be delayed on Tuesday because one of the accused has a new attorney.

Chris Mahlangu’s attorney Puna Moroko, who is in private practice, said on Friday that he would be replaced by Legal Aid representative advocate Kjomogso Tlowana.

“He [Tlowana] came from Pretoria to Klerksdorp yesterday [Thursday] and I handed him the docket,” Moroko said.

“There is no way, even if he is a hard working advocate, that he will be ready for Tuesday because it’s not easy to meet a client just before trial,” he said.

Moroko said Tlowana needed time to study the docket and consult with his client.

Mahlangu (28) also needed time to develop a relationship with his new attorney, said Moroko.

“He needs time to develop confidence in the new person to disclose everything. Right now, he would be doubtful.

“Only after some reassurance will he start telling exactly what happened.”

Moroko withdrew because he was not happy working free of charge.

“I fell in love with the case and know it inside and out, but I just couldn’t do it anymore.

“I was doing it for free and I felt I should be given something and the legal aid fees was very little.”

He said that being away from his office for the two weeks of the trial would seriously affect him.

“Being away for trial means I am not getting a cent in return.”

During the trial, 16 journalists and four members of the Terre’Blanche family will observe proceedings via closed circuit television in an adjoining courtroom because Mahlangu’s co-accused is a minor.

The other seats and standing places will be occupied by court officials and police officers.

Mahlangu and his 15-year-old co-accused allegedly bludgeoned the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging leader to death at his farmhouse outside Ventersdorp in April last year, apparently in a wage dispute. At the time, both worked for Terre’Blanche.

The killing received international media coverage.

It sparked debate on race relations and possible political motivation for crimes, with claims that the murder was linked to the singing of the struggle song lyrics “shoot the boer” by ANC Youth League president Julius Malema. — Sapa