ET murder trial postponed

2010-11-22 10:33

 The trial against a man and a youth accused of killing right-wing leader Eugene Terre’Blanche was postponed in the Ventersdorp Magistrates Court today.

Chris Mahlangu (28) and his 15-year-old co-accused allegedly murdered the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) leader in April at his farmhouse.

Their trial was expected to start today but was postponed to December 6.

Earlier, defence counsel Zola Majavu said the defence was not ready for trial yet.

Journalists were not allowed to attend the postponement because the 15-year-old youth’s identity was protected under law.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson advocate Mthunzi Mhaga said there would be no separation of trial.

The court was hearing an application by several media groups this morning to get permission to attend the trial.

Outside court, uniformed AWB members, carrying swastika emblem flags, lined the street.

The courthouse was cordoned off with yellow crime-scene tape.

Mahlangu was released in July on R5 000 bail but re-arrested in October after a Pretoria High Court judge said the magistrate in Ventersdorp had made “incomprehensive findings” in his granting of bail.

The judge found that Mahlangu was a flight risk.

At a previous appearance, the court heard that Terre’Blanche carried a panga with him everywhere he went and he frequently took off his underpants because of the heat.

Shortly after the murder there was speculation, fuelled by reports of Terre’Blanche being found dead with his pants down, and that he had attempted to sexually assault his killers.

The motive for the crime was believed to be over a wage dispute and missing cattle.

The court heard that Terre’Blanche had been struck multiple times with such force that his jaw was broken and a bone had pierced his tongue.

The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) in North West criticised the NPA in a statement today morning, saying it should have handled other alleged crimes against farm workers with the same efficiency.

“Cosatu demands that the NPA must go and deal with all cases where farm workers have been victims with the same efficiency they have dealt with in this case of Eugene,” it said in a statement.

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