Terre'Blanche murder trial enters second week

The Eugene Terre’Blanche murder trial was expected to enter its second week in the high court sitting in Ventersdorp on Monday.

Last week, seven witnesses took the stand. Five of them testified that the two farmworkers accused of killing the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) leader had confessed to the crime.

Terre’Blanche’s former employees, Chris Mahlangu and a minor, are accused of beating and hacking him to death in his North West farmhouse on April 3 last year.

One witness saw blood on Mahlangu’s overalls on the night of the crime, and another claimed he boasted about the killing.

The court heard that the pair telephoned police on the same night, admitted to the murder, and told police where they could be picked up.

Contradictions
The defence grilled the state witnesses and attempted to discredit each one by finding contradictions in their police statements and testimony.

Police witness Sergeant Jack Romanyane, who was the arresting officer, admitted to changing his police statement on the instruction of a senior policeman.

Another officer, Solomon Abe Londt, said he certified police statements before they were completed.

Paramedic Robert van Heerden, who was the first to see Terre’Blanche’s mutilated body, testified that his genitals were exposed and “moisture” seen under it.

He could hardly recognise the 69-year-old, a man he had known for 25 years.

No one had interfered with the evidence, he said.

Van Heerden had been alone with the body for a few minutes before Ramonyane entered.

The officer did not mention that Terre’Blanche’s genitals were exposed.

Allegations of sodomy arose when police commissioner General Bheki Cele said a condom was found on the scene.

In opening arguments, defence attorney Norman Arendse said there were allegations of verbal, physical and sexual abuse, and that witnesses were afraid to testify about it.

Arendse, who represents the minor, did not say who was sexually abused.

Van Heerden was expected to continue his testimony on Monday.

Both accused have pleaded not guilty to murder, housebreaking, attempted robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Mahlangu claims he acted in self defence, and the 16-year-old has denied involvement in the murder.—Sapa

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