Mahlangu recalls ‘day of sin’

2012-08-21 00:00

VENTERSDORP — “A day of sin.”

That is how Chris Mahlangu described the day in April 2010 when he beat Eugène Terre’Blanche to death.

In interviews with a psychologist, he also wondered whether the AWB leader, who he claimed raped him four times at gunpoint, was the person who had infected him with the HI virus.

The psychologist, Henk Swanepoel, was testifying in Mahlangu’s sentencing hearing in the circuit court in Ventersdorp yesterday.

Swanepoel had completed his psychological report on Mahlangu before judgment in the case was delivered. Advocate George Baloyi, for the state, sharply criticised Swanepoel yesterday for not amending the report in the interim.

In his report, Swanepoel repeated Mahlangu’s defence, which the court had rejected as lies: that he had acted in self-defence and that the AWB leader had sodomised him.

Based on forensic evidence, the court had found that Terre’Blanche was lying on his bed when he was brutally attacked and that he had no chance of defending himself.

Swanepoel conceded that his report was outdated in that respect, but said the results of the personality tests still applied. These showed the relatively unskilled Mahlangu to have come across as unintelligent, unsophisticated, immature, easily frustrated and emotionally superficial.

“He said he felt bad about the murder,” Swanepoel testified.

He said he found that Mahlangu has poor control of his urges and lacks social skills.

His “low intellectual capability”, along with the large quantity of alcohol he had consumed on the day of the murder, could have affected his judgment.

The court also heard yesterday that Mahlangu earned only R10 a day as a gardener for Terre’Blanche, and R6 a day for herding livestock. Sometimes workers’ only remuneration was cigarettes and alcohol.

Mahlangu’s fellow accused, Patrick Ndlovu, was found guilty of housebreaking with the intent to steal. Admissions and pointings-out by Ndlovu were not admitted as evidence, as his rights as a minor at the time had been violated.

The court heard yesterday that Ndlovu’s mother, Sophie, has a drinking problem. His father is nowhere to be found. Ndlovu left school in 2009 “for no particular reason”.

At the youth centre where he has been held since the murder, he has been well-behaved and has undergone rehabilitation and other programmes.

Two months before the Terre’Blanche murder, he had been given a suspended sentence for another housebreaking charge.

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