ET judge rejects sodomy claims

By Drum Digital
22 May 2012

Claims that Eugene Terre'Blanche sodomised one of his killers were rejected by the High Court sitting in Ventersdorp on Tuesday.

"Sodomy is such a personal intrusion, I can't believe (Chris Mahlangu) would not have raised it immediately," Judge John Horn said.

He called sodomy an attack on a person's dignity and said it was demeaning.

"It is the equivalent to rape."

Delivering his judgment, he asked why it was only mentioned towards the end of the trial, and also only through other witnesses.

Mahlangu and Patrick Ndlovu are accused of hacking and beating Terre'Blanche to death on his North West farm in April 2010.

Horn said Mahlangu saw the semen-like fluid seen on Terre'Blanche's genitals as an opportunity to use sodomy as a defence. However, Horn said the notion that this had indeed been semen was never proven. The same applied to the origin of the fluid.

"I therefore reject any suggestion that (Mahlangu) was sodomised," Horn said.

Horn also rejected a claim by the pair's lawyers that the fluid was deliberately removed after the murder. This was a ridiculous assertion, he said, adding he doubted that any of the officers on scene would have done so.

"There was no earthly reason for them to lay their careers on the line to act in such manner; they had nothing to gain. It simply does not make sense."

Horn also rubbished Mahlangu's claim that he acted in self-defence. He said there was no evidence Terre'Blanche was killed due to his political views. The dispute was over wages.

"He was revered by some, but despised by others," Horn said.

While Terre'Blanche was portrayed as arrogant and violent, neither of the two accused testified about this, or any claims of abuse.

"None of these things could justify the brutal attack on the deceased."

Ndlovu's name was made public for the first time on Tuesday. His trial had been held in camera thus far, but as he turned 18 in April he could be named.

Horn on Tuesday morning concluded his summary of the evidence given during proceedings. Before handing down his judgment, he would first evaluate whether the evidence and the witnesses were credible.

Outside the court, supporters of Ndlovu and Mahlangu danced and sang "Viva, Mahlangu, Viva" and "Dubul' iBhunu" ("Shoot the Boer").

Some carried placards reading, "Down with the AWB", "Thank you, Mahlangu" and "Waar is jou onderbroek ET (Where are your underpants, ET?)", a reference to evidence presented during the trial that Terre'Blanche was found dead with his pants pulled down.

Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging members, clad in camouflage uniforms and sporting flags and banners, were also outside the court. Some of their banners read: "AWB stood the test of time" and "Long live the AWB".

Members of the rightwing Gelofte Volk, an AWB splinter group, were present. Leader Andre Visagie said he had mixed feelings about what to expect.

Police and police vans lined the streets surrounding the court. Heavily armed officers stopped family members and media from entering the court until the last minute.

Mahlangu and Ndlovu have pleaded not guilty to murder, housebreaking, and robbery with aggravating circumstances. Mahlangu claims he acted in self-defence. Ndlovu has denied involvement in the crime. Both have declined to testify.

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