Credibility of Terre'Blanche cop questioned

2012-02-03 19:10
Ventersdorp - The credibility of the investigating officer in the murder trial of rightwing leader Eugene Terre'Blanche was brought into question in the High Court sitting in Ventersdorp on Friday.

"You flout rules of engagement, your own policy, and the law," defence for the accused youth, Norman Arendse, told investigating officer Lieutenant Colonel Tsietsi Mano.

Chris Mahlangu and the minor, who may not be named, are charged with beating Terre'Blanche to death in his farmhouse outside Ventersdorp in the North West in April 2010.

Both 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.

During the trial within a trial on Friday on the admissibility of evidence, two cases involving Mano - one criminal and one civil - were used by the defence to question his credibility.

Apartheid-style torture methods

The pending criminal case referred to Mano's arrest in May 2010 by the Independent Complaints Directorate.

"You used apartheid-style torture methods on a group of bank robbery suspects, including a police captain, who endured five hours of torture and spent a week in hospital," Arendse told Mano.

He said methods including electric shock, near drowning, and mock execution were used.

The civil judgment in question was delivered in the North Gauteng High Court in 2008 against Mano and a number of other police officers.

The respondent in the case, the then minister of safety and security, had to pay more than R500 000 in compensation to Madimetja Phineas Kutumela who was wrongfully arrested in 2004 in connection with the kidnapping and murder of Constable Francis Rasuge.

According to the judgment, Mano and other SA Police Service members assaulted Kutumela and initiated malicious proceedings against him.

"You use illegal, unlawful, and cruel methods to extract evidence," Arendse said to Mano.


He questioned the interviews Mano had with both accused in the Terre'Blanche case.

Arendse called it astonishing that Mano had delayed contacting the teenager's mother before conducting an interview with him.

"My lord, I did not do it immediately, but I did it," Mano replied.

Earlier on Friday, the court heard that Mano allegedly threatened to kill Mahlangu.

"You would arrange for him [Mahlangu] to be taken to a magistrate to make a statement, and if he does not do as you tell him, then you will kill him," Mahlangu's lawyer Kgomotso Tlouane put it to Mano. He denied this.

The pointing out of crime scenes and procedures followed were also questioned.

Mano admitted he initiated the pointing out and that the youth, before pointing out the crime scenes, had not slept since the night of the murder.

"You wanted them to show not where the crime took place, but what they did," Arendse told Mano.

Mano said: "This was not true."

Racial confrontations

Arendse explained how the teenager was transported from Ventersdorp to the Klerksdorp police station, driven to Terre'Blanche’s farm the day after the murder, and finally back to the Ventersdorp police station.

Mano replied: "According to my observation [the youth] had no signs of maybe being sleepy or maybe being uncomfortable."

Tlouane questioned Mano about why the two accused needed to be transferred at all.

"Ventersdorp has always been in the news about racial confrontations," Mano said.

He was worried that as Terre'Blanche was the leader of the AWB, his followers might take matters into their own hands and attack the police station.

"There was a lot of tension," he said. It was taken as a precautionary measure.

Arendse said: "The only reason you wanted to move them from Ventersdorp to Klerksdorp was to interrogate them and subject them to a pointing out that was irregular, because there was no mother present."

Mano denied this.

"Throughout your career, including this case, your approach is that the end justifies the means," Arendse said.

The court was adjourned until Monday.
Read more on:    chris mahlangu  |  eugene terre'blanche  |  mahikeng  |  et murder trial

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

How much food do you need to concentrate?

We have been taught that we need three meals a day in order to make it through the day and while most of us indulge in more than our fair share there is a large portion of South Africans who are living off barely enough to sustain them.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.