No justification for brutal ET murder - judge

2012-05-22 17:20
Ventersdorp - Judge John Horn on Tuesday said that there was no justification for the brutal killing of Eugene Terre'Blanche as he found farmworker Chris Mahlangu guilty of the former Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging leader's murder.

Mahlangu's co-accused Patrick Ndlovu, whose name was revealed for the first time on Tuesday, as he has now turned 18, was acquitted of murder and attempted robbery, but found guilty of housebreaking.

Ndlovu was  described as a passive bystander and Horn said he was not convinced that he played an active role in the murder murder.

The pair had been on trial for hacking and beating Terre'Blanche to death on his North West farm in April 2010.

During his judgment, Judge Horn 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."

Horn also rejected claims that Terre'Blanche sodomised Mahlangu.

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

Opportunistic

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

"It is the equivalent to rape."

He asked why it was only mentioned towards the end of the trial, and also only through other witnesses.

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."

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