State seeks to include evidence on minor

2012-04-11 22:08
Ventersdorp - The State brought an application on Wednesday for incriminating evidence about a minor accused of murdering rightwing leader Eugene Terre'Blanche to be admitted.

"The quality of the hearsay argument makes it imperative," prosecutor George Baloyi told the High Court sitting in Ventersdorp.

Chris Mahlangu and the teenager, who may not be identified, are charged with beating Terre'Blanche to death in his farmhouse outside Ventersdorp, in the North West, on 3 April 3 2010.

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

Hearsay

Earlier on Wednesday, the boy's lawyer, Norman Arendse, argued that investigating officer Lieutenant Colonel Tsietsi Mano's testimony about Mahlangu's statement was hearsay.

Mano however maintained that Mahlangu's statement to him on the night of the murder was contained in his sworn statement.

"You are repeating to us in court what you were told by someone else, isn't it?" Arendse asked.

Mano told the court the statement had been made to him by the person who admitted to the crime.

"So I don't think that amounts to hearsay evidence," he said.

Murder was planned

In his testimony on Tuesday, Mano said according to the statement Mahlangu and the youth planned the murder. Mahlangu said in the statement that they had planned to castrate Terre'Blanche after the murder.

"Mahlangu said he pulled Terre'Blanche's pants down and exposed his genitals. His intention was to dismember Terre'Blanche, but he decided against it."

Mano said Mahlangu had stated that he went into a storeroom on the farm and found an iron rod. He and the teenager then entered Terre'Blanche's house through a window. They found Terre'Blanche lying on his back on the bed.

Mahlangu hit Terre'Blanche on the forehead, then twice across the face. The teenager took the rod from him and hit Terre'Blanche on the face and chest, Mano testified.

Perversion of justice

Arendse opposed the State’s application late on Wednesday for this statement to be admitted, arguing that it was based on hearsay.

"This application is a perversion of justice."

He said the defence saw the document for the first time on Wednesday afternoon and had no time to prepare a response. Arendse said the prosecution made the application at the wrong time. It should have been made after all the State’s evidence had been heard.

"The defence does not intend to call any witnesses and also intends to close its case."

He said Judge John Horn either had to reject the application, or he should deal with it in totality when all the evidence had been presented.

Horn said: "[The application] was a way of forcing an accused into a witness stand."

The trial was postponed to Thursday for Horn to decide on the matter.
Read more on:    eugene terre'blanche  |  mahikeng  |  et murder trial

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