Cop thought mortuary should collect 'semen'

2012-01-30 17:05

Ventersdorp - Procedures in the arrest and processing of a youth accused of the murder of rightwing leader Eugene Terre’Blanche came under scrutiny on Monday.

The young man's dignity was not respected after his arrest, suggested Zola Majavu, for the minor, in the High Court sitting in Ventersdorp.

"You violated my client's right to dignity and privacy," he said.

Majavu was cross-examining Captain Albertus Joubert, who works at the criminal record centre and processed the murder scene.

Chris Mahlangu and the teenager are accused of beating and hacking the AWB leader to death in his farmhouse in the North West on Easter Saturday, April 2010. Terre’Blanche was 69.

Both accused have pleaded not guilty to murder, housebreaking, and robbery with aggravating circumstances. Mahlangu claims he acted in self defence. The teenager has denied involvement in the crime.

On Monday, Majavu said the youth was stripped down to his underpants, in full view of other officers, when his fingerprints were taken the day after the murder.

Majavu said everyone had a Constitutional right to dignity.

Mortuary

Joubert replied that if there was any possible evidence on the clothes, they had to be collected.

"This has nothing to do with collecting evidence, but how it was collected," Majavu retorted.

He said the way his client was treated was in direct violation of the Child Justice Act.

Joubert was asked why fluid resembling semen found on Terre’Blanche’s genitals was not preserved, and why a sample was not taken.

Joubert confirmed he did not take steps to preserve the fluid because he understood it was the mortuary's job.

However, he said the fluid was still visible in pictures taken at the mortuary.

Pathologist Ruweida Moorad testified last year that she could find no trace of the substance.

Majavu said: "You deliberately refrained from preserving the evidence."

Joubert denied this, maintaining the fluid should have been collected by the mortuary.

Joubert was also asked if he knew a guardian had to be present after a minor was arrested.

Majavu said samples taken without a guardian being present violated the youth’s rights.

However, Eileen du Preez of the prosecuting team said the Child Justice Act did not provide for a guardian to be present during the extraction of samples.

Joubert said DNA would have been lost if the boy had washed or used his hands.


Read more on:    eugene terre'blanche  |  mahikeng  |  et murder trial

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