Police and Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) members were slowly gathering at the Ventersdorp High Court on Tuesday morning ahead of the appearance of the two accused of killing AWB leader Eugene Terre’Blanche.
Media were also converging and court officials were making name cards for journalists. Only those media members with name cards would be admitted to watch court proceedings.
It was cold and windy as the accused arrived at the court at 8.45am.
On Tuesday it was presumed that the case would not proceed as one of the accused, Chris Mahlangu (28), had a new attorney.
‘No way he’ll be ready for trial’
Puna Moroko, his former attorney, said last week that he would be replaced by a legal aid representative, advocate Kjomogso Tlowana.
“There is no way, even if he is a hardworking 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 also needed time to develop a relationship with his new attorney.
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 Terre’Blanche to death at his farmhouse outside Ventersdorp in April last year, apparently in a wage dispute. At the time, both worked for Terre’Blanche. — Sapa