Minor ‘admitted ET murder’

2011-10-10 14:13

A minor phoned police to say that he killed Eugene Terre’Blanche on the evening the right-wing leader was murdered, the High Court sitting in Ventersdorp heard today.

“I received a call about 17.55 on April 3 2010 ... This specific call was different because the caller said ‘my friend and I killed Terre’Blanche’,” a data capturer at the local police station, Klaas Nkathule, testified.

“I asked where he was calling from ... he [the minor] said we are hiding in a camp near a farm. He said we want to come to the police station, but we are afraid of whites from other farms, as they may find us and kill us.”

The teenager told Nkathule that Terre’Blanche had not paid them for the day’s work.

“I could hear that the person on the other side of the phone was not an adult.”

Earlier, the court heard the minor denied taking part in the murder.

“On the day in question ... the accused did enter the house of the deceased through an open window ... he was able to say that the deceased had already been killed and this will explain why some blood was found on his clothes,” his lawyer Norman Arendse said.

“He will deny that he participated in the killing of the deceased. He will deny that he robbed the deceased or sold any items belonging to the deceased, and he will deny attempting to steal the car belonging to the deceased.”

Arendse said no one deserved to die the way the former Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) leader had, but suggested he was not the only victim in the case.

He said the minor should have been in school, and not working.

“We have a situation here of child labour ... exploitation of the child ... and if the court launches an inspection it would see the appalling conditions the accused lived in on the farm,” said Arendse.

“Those conditions are not fit for human habitation ... the accused, especially accused two [the minor], was utterly degraded in this whole scenario.”

He said the child had been bribed with alcohol and there were allegations of verbal, physical and sexual abuse.

Arendse said the teenager was afraid of Terre’Blanche and he was often scolded in vulgar language.

He submitted that the minor had received part payment for his work and “as far as he [the minor] is concerned, he had no reason to have a dispute with the deceased”.

Potential witnesses were reluctant to appear in court.

“The main reason appears to be fears of intimidation, fear they will lose the little they have and the fear they will lose the roof over their head, and the food they receive on the farm,” Arendse said.

The court heard that an affidavit submitted earlier by the other accused Chris Mahlangu (28) could prejudice him.

Kgomotso Tlouane, for Mahlangu, said his client had not been aware of the implications of statements he made during his bail application.

He asked that Mahlangu’s bail affidavit not be part of the trial record, and opposed an application by the State for it to be included in the trial.

Tlouane said the consequences of his statements were not properly explained to Mahlangu by the court and his previous lawyer Puna Moroko.

Prosecutor George Baloyi argued that Mahlangu had been told of his rights and consented to making the statement.

A decision was yet to be made on the matter, but in the meantime the trial would continue, Judge John Horn said.

Terre’Blanche (69) was hacked to death in his farmhouse in North West last April. 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.

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