Police testify at ET murder trial
Details of the death of AWB (Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging) leader Eugene Terre’Blanche emerged on Wednesday at the murder trial.
Sergeant Jack Ramonyane was the fifth witness to take the stand at the Ventersdorp Magistrate’s Court this week and also the fifth witness to testify that Chris Mahlangu (28) admitted to killing Terre’Blanche.
Ramonyane told the court he was the first police officer to see Terre’Blanche’s body soaked in blood with a panga on his chest in his home.
Ramonyane was out patrolling when he picked up Mahlangu and the minor, who was 15 at the time, from the N14 highway on April 3 last year.
He said Mahlangu and the other suspect came to his police car and identified themselves as the people who had phoned the police.
On Tuesday, police clerk Klaas Nkathule testified he had taken a call from a minor just before 6pm on April 3, who admitted to the killing.
Ramonyane said that Mahlangu told him he had fought with Terre’Blanche over unpaid wages and when asked how seriously injured Terre’Blanche was, Mahlangu replied, “We killed him.”
“The whole time the two suspects were cooperative,” said Ramonyane.
After he picked them up, they drove to Terre’Blanche’s farm on the outskirts of the Ventersdorp.
The first thing Ramonyane noticed when he arrived was an Opel Corsa bakkie with its doors open and lights on.
The ignition was lying on the ground and wires were loose.
The vehicle belonged to Terre’Blanche.
An emergency vehicle was also at Terre’Blanche’s farm when Ramonyane and the suspects arrived there.
Robert van Heerden was named in court as the emergency worker present who went into Terre’Blanche’s house. He told Ramonyane to wait outside in case the dogs wanted to bite him, while he searched the house.
After a while, Van Heerden called him inside to see what happened and said: “Mr Terre’Blanche is no more.”
Ramonyane walked through the house that was in disarray and into a room where Terre’Blanche’s body was lying.
“The farmer was lying next to a wall with a lot of blood on it”, he said. Ramonyane said he also noticed blood on Mahlangu’s overalls.
The police officer testified that Mahlangu voluntarily handed over a phone that he identified as belonging to Terre’Blanche.
Mahlangu allegedly admitted to wanting to sell the phone to recoup the two months’ wages that Terre’Blanche had not paid him, according to Ramonyane.
But Mahlangu’s defence lawyer Kgomotso Tlouane argued that Mahlangu had just found the phone lying on the grass and kept it safe and wanted to use it to call the police.
He said Mahlangu was desperate to contact the police and had no intention of selling the phone.
“Everybody knows farmworkers earn next nothing” and Mahlangu couldn’t have got away with stealing the phone,” Tlouane argued.
He said Mahlangu even tried to put his own SIM card into the phone to call the police but the phone wouldn’t work.
The trial continues.