Judge fumes, postpones Terre’Blanche trial to October

The judge presiding over the Eugene Terre’Blanche murder trial on Tuesday said he was “not impressed” with how the case had been handled, and postponed the matter to October.

“I must say I am not impressed with the manner in which this was handled. It resulted in time being unnecessarily wasted,” Judge John Horn said in the Ventersdorp High Court sitting in.

“I came here to hear a trial, not to hear arguments regarding postponements. This whole situation was most unsatisfactory.”

The trial of Chris Mahlangu and a minor accused of killing the AWB leader was set down for October 10 to 21.

The court further granted an order for the minor to appear in court every 30 days for an assessment on how he was doing at a place of safety. Those dates are June 8, July 8, August 5 and September 2 and 30.

Horn said Mahlangu, whose previous attorney Puna Moroko withdrew days before trial, could not be blamed for the postponement.

“If a postponement was not granted it would be prejudicial and unjust to accused one [Mahlangu] and he would not be afforded a fair trial. Mr Moroko’s withdrawing remains unexplained and one would have expected him to attend court and explain why he terminated his service.”

Moroko, who had not formally withdrawn, had also not consulted with his client and instead spent time giving press statements, the court heard.

Fair trial
“Where the legal representative is at fault or withdraws, the accused is afforded a postponement to have sufficient time and opportunity to prepare for trial,” Horn said.

Legal Aid attorney advocate Khomotso Tlouane took over from him last Thursday. He said he needed time to track down witnesses crucial to his defence, and examine DNA and forensic evidence, which he said Moroko had failed to do.

Tlouane said there was a real possibility both defence teams could combine efforts to form a common front, but added that they had not yet discussed this.

Horn apologised to the Terre’Blanche family and journalists for yet another postponement. He said the case had attracted media attention locally and abroad, and dealt with several allegations, including a political motive.

“Whether the killing had political connotations is doubtful. The facts according to the statements in the charge sheet show no proof that it was politically motivated.

“Nevertheless there is no doubt that the case remains high-profile.”

According to the charge sheet Mahlangu and his 16-year-old co-accused broke into Terre’Blanche’s farmhouse outside Ventersdorp in April last year, robbed and “deliberately killed” him.

The two worked for him at the time. There were claims the killing was sparked by a wage dispute. They are also accused of attempting to steal Terre’Blanche’s car. – Sapa


Workers fight job-creation ‘mess’

Former Ekurhuleni workers argued in court that a programme promising to equip them with skills simply acted as a labour broker for the municipality

Court dissolves local municipality

Landmark judgment paves the way for South Africans to use legal system to hold councils responsible

Mabuza’s ‘distant relative’ scored big

Eskom’s woes are often because of boiler problems at its power plants. R50-billion has been set aside to fix them, but some of the contracts are going to questionable entities

ANC faction gunning for Gordhan

The ambush will take place at an NEC meeting about Eskom. But the real target is Cyril Ramaphosa

Press Releases

New-style star accretion bursts dazzle astronomers

Associate Professor James O Chibueze and Dr SP van den Heever are part of an international team of astronomers studying the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar.

2020 risk outlook: Use GRC to build resilience

GRC activities can be used profitably to develop an integrated risk picture and response, says ContinuitySA.

MTN voted best mobile network

An independent report found MTN to be the best mobile network in SA in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Is your tertiary institution is accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Is your tertiary institution accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

VUT chancellor, Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi, dies

The university conferred the degree of Doctor of Science Honoris Causa on Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi for his outstanding leadership contributions to maths and science education development.

Innovate4AMR now in second year

SA's Team pill-Alert aims to tackle antimicrobial resistance by implementing their strategic intervention that ensures patients comply with treatment.

Medical students present solution in Geneva

Kapil Narain and Mohamed Hoosen Suleman were selected to present their strategic intervention to tackle antimicrobial resistance to an international panel of experts.