ET trial: Mortuary worker saw no semen

A mortuary worker who removed rightwing leader Eugene Terre’Blanche’s body from his house has denied seeing semen-like fluid on his genitals.

“If there was something there, yes, I would have seen it,” Gladys Lesenyego told the high court sitting in Ventersdorp on Wednesday.

Mahlangu and a teenager, who may not be named, are charged with beating Terre’Blanche to death in his farmhouse outside Ventersdorp, North West, in April 2010.

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

Mahlangu has claimed he acted in self defence. The teenager has denied involvement in the crime.

Lesenyego testified that she was called to the scene at 8.20pm and removed the body just after 11pm.

She found Terre’Blanche in the bedroom, on his back, with clothes on.

“The body was full of blood and had lacerations. His shirt was open and the trousers were pulled down and you could see [his] private parts.”

She said she was not told about possible evidence on the body. If there had been anything to preserve, she would have done so, she told the court.

“I would have handled the body differently.”

Both defence teams cross-examined her, but Lesenyego maintained that there was no fluid when she collected the body. “I didn’t see it.”

She said it was unusual that she had access to the body only more than two hours after she arrived.

“I was only told that LCRC (local criminal record centre) was busy with photos and they still had to take the video.”

Investigating officer Lieutenant Colonel Tsietsi Mano was earlier asked about fluid seen on Terre’Blanche’s genitals. “I never saw the body,” he said.

The body had been removed before he arrived at the house on the night of the murder. He said he saw it only during the post mortem.

“I asked the pathologist [if she had found semen] and she said no. I know for a fact I asked,” Mano said.

In October, pathologist Ruweida Moorad testified that Terre’Blanche’s body may have been wiped before the post mortem was done.

“Perhaps when it [the body] was transported in a body bag it [the semen] was wiped off. I honestly don’t know,” she said at the time.

The state was questioning her medical examination of Terre’Blanche. A substance believed to be semen was seen in photographs of his body taken at the crime scene.

The substance was not visible when Moorad carried out her examination, but it was visible in the photos.

She said the body had been refrigerated. Her post mortem was done on April 6 last year, three days after the murder.

Cross-examining Mano on Tuesday, Arendse said that if the semen on Terre’Blanche had been wiped off before the body was removed, it would mean someone had tampered with the evidence.

“If it was deliberately removed then it was a serious offence, because that part of the evidence would be crucial,” he said.

On Wednesday, Arendse maintained that the fluid was crucial to the case.

“If someone deliberately wiped that type of evidence away it is a very serious thing,” he said.

The trial continues. — Sapa

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories


Subscribers only

Come what may, the UIF will pay

The fund – the main safety net for unemployed workers – will run at an almost R20-billion deficit

‘Terrorised’ family shines a light on traditional leadership for vulnerable...

The ambiguity between traditional and constitutional leadership has been exposed by the violent banishment of an Eastern Cape family

More top stories

Zondo commission: Molefe says Glencore sold Optimum to portray him...

Former Eskom chief executive paints himself as the victim of a plot at the hands of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s former business associates

Municipal workers convicted in R3.5m ‘Christmas cheer’ fund fraud scheme

A fund that was meant to provide much-needed, end-of-year cash for municipal workers was looted by the three signatories of the account

Tshiamiso Trust makes due on silicosis payout

Beneficiaries will now be able to apply to get money from the settlement almost two years after the Johannesburg high court ruled on the matter.

Shootings on Cape Flats claim 14 lives in less than...

At least 50 more police and other law enforcement officers were sent to the area in response to the spate of violence

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…