ET trial cop denies influencing colleague

2012-04-11 11:33

The investigating officer in rightwing leader Eugene Terre’Blanche’s murder trial has denied influencing a fellow officer’s statement.

“If he said that to the court he lied, because I never told him what to say,” Lt-Col Tsietsi Mano told the High Court sitting in Ventersdorp.

Defence lawyer Norman Arendse had asked him about claims that he influenced arresting officer Sergeant Jack Ramonyane’s statements.

“I wrote what he [Ramonyane] told me and he confirmed before signing,” Mano said.

Farmworker Chris Mahlangu and a teenager, who may not be named, are charged with beating Terre’Blanche to death in his farmhouse outside Ventersdorp, in North West, in April 2010.

Both have pleaded not guilty of murder, housebreaking, and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Mahlangu has claimed he acted in self-defence. The teenager has denied involvement in the crime.

In October, Ramonyane told the court he was influenced by Mano into changing his statement.

Several contradictions in Ramonyane’s two police statements were outlined by the defence.

In the first statement, Ramonyane described the minor as being “very young”, but in his second statement he said he was a “young man”.

In the first statement, he said Mahlangu had made the phone call that alerted police to the murder, but in the second he said “they made the call”.

In the first statement, Ramonyane said Mahlangu assaulted Terre’Blanche, but in the second statement he said they killed him.

“There [are] at least three material differences in your statement. Is this also what [investigating officer] Captain [Tsietsi] Mano told you to write?” asked Arendse.

Ramonyane replied: “Yes, that is so.”

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