Terre'Blanche trial set for October

2011-05-10 10:56

Ventersdorp - The trial of AWB leader Eugene Terre'Blanche's two alleged killers has been set down for October 10 to 21, the Ventersdorp High Court ruled on Tuesday.

Journalists and police gathered outside the Ventersdorp High Court in damp conditions on Tuesday ahead of the appearance of the pair accused of killing AWB leader Eugene Terre'Blanche.

The gates to the courthouse were closed and the road cordoned off. Some AWB members were seen. Judge John Horn presided.

Chris Mahlangu and a minor allegedly bludgeoned Terre'Blanche to death at his North West farmhouse in April last year - apparently over a wage dispute.

Last week, the matter was stood down when Mahlangu's new attorney, Kgomotso Tlouane said he would not be ready for trial in a week, given the amount of work he had to do.

"We are basically back to square one," he said at the time, explaining he would have to do the legal work Mahlangu's previous attorney Puna Moroko had failed to do.

He submitted that forensic and DNA evidence, photographs, witness statements and pointing-outs had not been examined by experts and that potential witnesses to help the defence were not tracked down. He said he needed time to form a proper defence strategy for trial and indicated it would take a lot of time.

On Monday, however, Tlouane told the court he was ready for trial, the National Prosecuting Authority said. "We were all taken aback this morning when he [advocate Kgomotso] said he was ready to proceed," spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga said on Monday.

The murder received international media coverage and sparked public debate about race relations and raised questions of whether the crime was politically motivated. There were also claims the murder was linked to the singing of a struggle song containing the lyrics "shoot the boer" by ANCYL leader Julius Malema.


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