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Terre'Blanche trial adjourned

2012-02-06 16:08

Ventersdorp - Argument in a trial within the trial of two people accused of killing rightwing leader Eugene Terre'Blanche would be heard on Tuesday.

The High Court sitting in Ventersdorp would then decide on the validity of information gathered from the two murder accused shortly after the crime.

The defence has contended this information was not admissible as evidence.

Farmworker Chris Mahlangu and a 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.

The last witness to be called on Monday was police photographer Zandisile Mqamba. He took pictures when Mahlangu pointed out parts of the crime scene to police officers on the night of the murder.

He testified he was busy with his own paperwork while Captain Mojalefa Nkosi - who acted as interpreter and conducted the pointing out - was talking to Mahlangu.

He also said he was not fluent in Sepedi.

Deception

Earlier, the investigating officer in the case, Lieutenant Colonel Tsietsi Mano, was accused of trying to deceive the two accused.

"We will submit that your agenda and intentions were to deceive the accused and the court," defence lawyer Norman Arendse said in cross-examining Mano.

The court heard on Monday that Mano had signed the police's occurrence book, but not the cell register, when he transported the pair from the Ventersdorp police station to his office in Klerksdorp on the night of the murder.

Mano had also indicated in the occurrence register that they were being taken to the Hartebeesfontein police station, near Klerksdorp, when they were actually first taken to his office.

"You can't just take people to your office," said Arendse, acting for the minor.

Mano maintained he had every right to take them to his office as he was the investigating officer.

"As soon as I signed the occurrence book, they were entirely my responsibility. There is nothing wrong with that, my lord," Mano said.

To which Arendse said: "Colonel Mano, there's a lot wrong with that."

The court heard that Mahlangu was taken to the Hartebeesfontein police station later that night, while the minor was taken to the Klerksdorp police station.

Tantamount to kidnapping

Mano denied trying to deceive them, but admitted he had not told them where they were going, or why. Arendse asked why their families were not told of their whereabouts, and argued this was tantamount to kidnapping.

The court was told that Mahlangu and the youth were checked out of the Ventersdorp police station shortly after midnight and signed in at the other police stations only at 04:00.

Arendse described this as most unusual, saying it was part of a strategy by Mano to deprive the two of sleep. Mano said the reason for their transfer was the tension in Ventersdorp after Terre'Blanche's murder.

"The situation was not conducive."

Mano submitted he had no ulterior motive or intention to do anything wrong.

Arendse put it to Mano that he jeopardised the trial because of the "indecent haste" with which he wanted the pointing out done, when it could have been done later.

During the cross examination, Mano admitted he no longer had the notebook he used on the night of the arrest.

Comments
  • Desmond - 2012-02-06 16:44

    Who is on trial, two viscous murderers or incompetent family of the ANC in the police.

  • Sizakele - 2012-02-07 11:03

    Once again Desmond ANC HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS CASE.IF YOU HAVE NO COMMENT PLS JUST KEEP QQQQQQQQQQQQET.

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