Translation queried in Terre'Blanche case
Ventersdorp - The work of a translator who mediated between the youth accused of killing Eugene Terre'Blanche and police officers was called into question in the High Court sitting in Ventersdorp on Wednesday.
The boy's lawyer, Zola Majavu, tried to show how information could be misinterpreted or misunderstood.
He asked reserve Detective Constable Emmanuel Mthembu to translate phrases from Afrikaans to Tswana, as he would have done when he explained the rights of the youth to him and his mother before the teenager pointed out the crime scenes.
Mthembu struggled to do so correctly at all times. When he translated incorrectly, the court translator explained that Mthembu’s version was not verbatim, but a simplified version.
Majavu was questioning the accuracy of Mthembu’s translations between Lieutenant Colonel Frans Jacobs, the youth and his mother, after Terre’Blanche’s murder.
Mthembu said he occasionally had to ask Jacobs to clarify what he said during the translation, but he felt the family and youth had understood what was said. However, Mthembu did admit it was possible for some information to have been lost in translation.
He also admitted it was the first time he had acted as a translator.
Mthembu was testifying in a trial within a trial to determine the validity of evidence given by the two accused.
The minor and farmworker Chris Mahlangu are accused of beating Terre'Blanche to death in his farmhouse in April 2010.