Crowd gathers ahead of ET trial

2011-10-10 08:50

Scores of police officers and journalists gathered outside the High Court sitting in Ventersdorp today ahead of the appearance of the pair accused of hacking AWB leader Eugene Terre’Blanche to death last year.

Cameramen and photographers set up their equipment and uniformed Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) members milled around a gazebo listening to Afrikaans music playing on a speaker.

On trees around the court, AWB supporters had hung posters in the party’s colours. Some of them had slogans reading: “Die boer is hier om te bly (The ‘boer’ is here to stay)” and “Ons boere Afrikaner BLOED (Our ‘boere’ Afrikaner blood).”

The latter was written next to a picture of a politician with blood on his hands.

The gates to the court were still closed at 9am.

Last week, AWB leader Steyn van Ronge said the right-wing organisation had not planned any protests, but intended attending proceedings to support the Terre’Blanche family.

“I hope it will just start and get finished because there have been many delays in this case,” he said.

The 69-year-old former AWB leader was killed, allegedly by his two farm employees, in his North West farmhouse in April last year.

A post mortem report revealed that Terre’Blanche suffered 28 injuries.

Chris Mahlangu (28) and a minor were charged with murder, housebreaking, attempted robbery with aggravating circumstances, and crimen injuria.

The teenager, who left school to become a herdsman for Terre’Blanche’s 97 cattle, was 15-years-old at the time of the murder.

At the last appearance, the court heard there was a possibility both defence teams could combine efforts to form a common front.

Mahlangu was released on bail in July last year, but was re-arrested three months later following a court order revoking his bail.

The murder received international media coverage and sparked public debate about race relations and raised questions of whether the crime was politically motivated.

There were also claims the murder was linked to the singing of a struggle song containing the lyrics “shoot the boer” by ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema.

The song has since been outlawed.

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