Terre'Blanche investigating officer quizzed

2012-04-11 11:47
Ventersdorp - The investigating officer in AWB leader Eugene Terre'Blanche's murder trial was accused of presenting hearsay evidence on Wednesday in the High Court sitting in Ventersdorp.

"You are repeating to us in court what you were told by someone else, isn’t it?" defence lawyer Norman Arendse asked Lieutenant Colonel Tsietsi Mano.

Mano was being cross-examined on a statement made to him by one of the accused, Chris Mahlangu.

Mahlangu and a teenager, 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 of murder, housebreaking, and robbery with aggravating circumstances. Mahlangu has claimed he acted in self defence. The teenager has denied involvement in the crime.

Hearsay evidence

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.

On Tuesday, Mano testified Mahlangu 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 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 allegedly 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.

Questioned about a claim that Terre'Blanche had sodomised Mahlangu, Mano told the court this had not surfaced during his investigation of the case and in his interviews with Mahlangu.

Fluid on genitals

Mano was also asked about fluid seen on Terre'Blanche's genitals.

"I never saw the body," he said.

The body had been removed before Mano arrived at the house on the night of the murder. He said he saw it only during the post mortem.

"I asked the pathologist [if she had found semen] and she said no. I know for a fact I asked," Mano said.

In October, pathologist Ruweida Moorad testified that Terre'Blanche's body may have been wiped before the post mortem was done.

"Perhaps when it [the body] was transported in a body bag it [the semen] was wiped off. I honestly don't know," she said at the time.

The State was questioning her medical examination of Terre'Blanche. A substance believed to be semen was seen in photographs of his body taken at the crime scene.

The substance was not visible when Moorad carried out her examination, but it was visible in the photos.

She said the body had been refrigerated. Her post mortem was done on April 6 last year, three days after the murder.

Cross-examining Mano on Tuesday, Arendse, for the minor, said that if the semen on Terre'Blanche had been wiped off before the body was removed, it would mean someone had tampered with the evidence.

"If it was deliberately removed then it was a serious offence, because that part of the evidence would be crucial," he said.

On Wednesday, Arendse maintained that the fluid was crucial to the case.

"If it would appear that someone deliberately wiped that type of evidence away it is a very serious thing," he said.

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

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