Terre'Blanche cop 'threatened to kill accused'
Ventersdorp - The investigating officer in the Eugene Terre'Blanche murder trial threatened to kill one of the accused, the High Court sitting in Ventersdorp heard on Friday.
"You would arrange for him [farmworker Chris 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 the investigating officer.
Lieutenant Colonel Tsietsi Mano denied this.
On Thursday, Mano testified that both Mahlangu and the youth had their rights read and explained to them after they were arrested.
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.
Mano testified that on the night the two were arrested, an arrangement was made for their transfer from Ventersdorp to Klerksdorp.
Tlouane asked why Mano felt the need to arrange the transfer.
"Ventersdorp has always been in the news about racial confrontations," Mano said.
He was worried that as Terre'Blanche was the leader of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging that 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.
Both the defence for Mahlangu and the youth brought up a previous judgment delivered against Mano.
Judge John Horn said he would have to read up on the case and then decide if he would allow questioning on it.
The judgment in question was delivered in the North Gauteng High Court in 2008 against Mano and a number of other police officers.
They 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.