Terre'Blanche trial to resume next year

2011-10-20 16:01
Ventersdorp - The trial of two farmworkers accused of killing AWB leader Eugene Terre'Blanche was postponed until January 30 by the High Court sitting in Ventersdorp on Thursday.

Chris Mahlangu and a minor are accused of beating and hacking the former Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging leader to death in his farmhouse in the North West in April last year.

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.

Mahlangu made a last-minute application on Thursday to be transferred to a police station in Pretoria so his family could visit him.

Judge John Horn said he had no authority for such a transfer, and that Mahlangu should make a request to the police.

Evidence removed?

The court heard on Thursday that no pathologist had been contacted to attend the crime scene, and that evidence could possibly have been removed from the body.

Not contacting a pathologist was a breach of regulation and "highly unusual", pathologist Dr Ruweida Moorad told the court.

"Given the nature of the case... that it is high profile... one of us should have been there."

The mortuary manager was also not contacted.

She said fluid resembling semen seen in photos of Terre'Blanche's body may have been wiped off.

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

Defence attorney Norman Arendse suspected that the semen may have been deliberately removed.

"A person... who I strongly suspect to be a police officer sought [to]... obstruct the administration of justice by removing evidence from the scene," he said.

"If the sample had been tampered with or removed, it is an attempt to obstruct justice."

"That is possible," replied Moorad.

No typical defence injuries

She said the body had been refrigerated and that her autopsy was carried out on April 6, three days after Terre’Blanche was murdered.

She said there were no acute injuries to his rectum, and that only a "linear abrasion" on his right scrotum was noted.

Terre'Blanche was most likely lying down when he sustained a chop wound to the head, she said.

She described the injury in detail and said she believed it was the first wound he sustained in the attack.

"It is my opinion that the injury to the head was the first injury, followed by the face, and then the chest and thighs," said Moorad.

"Such an injury would have rendered the deceased unconscious at the time."

The chop wound resulted in a laceration to the brain.

Terre'Blanche sustained multiple fractures to, among others, his skull, ribs, and lower jaw.

There were bruises and lacerations on several parts of his body, including his tongue and liver. All the injuries were on the front of his body.

Moorad found no "typical defence" injuries indicating Terre'Blanche had not attempted to fight off his attackers.

"It is more probable that the deceased was lying flat at the time."

She agreed that Terre'Blanche's wounds were consistent with those inflicted by a panga. The cause of death was blunt force to the head, chest and neck.
- SAPA
Read more on:    chris mahlangu  |  eugene terre'blanche  |  mahikeng  |  et murder trial
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