Credibility of Terre'Blanche cop questioned

2012-02-03 19:10

Ventersdorp - The credibility of the investigating officer in the murder trial of rightwing leader Eugene Terre'Blanche was brought into question in the High Court sitting in Ventersdorp on Friday.

"You flout rules of engagement, your own policy, and the law," defence for the accused youth, Norman Arendse, told investigating officer Lieutenant Colonel Tsietsi Mano.

Chris Mahlangu and the minor, who may not be named, are charged with beating Terre'Blanche to death in his farmhouse outside Ventersdorp in the North West in April 2010.

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.

During the trial within a trial on Friday on the admissibility of evidence, two cases involving Mano - one criminal and one civil - were used by the defence to question his credibility.

Apartheid-style torture methods

The pending criminal case referred to Mano's arrest in May 2010 by the Independent Complaints Directorate.

"You used apartheid-style torture methods on a group of bank robbery suspects, including a police captain, who endured five hours of torture and spent a week in hospital," Arendse told Mano.

He said methods including electric shock, near drowning, and mock execution were used.

The civil judgment in question was delivered in the North Gauteng High Court in 2008 against Mano and a number of other police officers.

The respondent in the case, the then minister of safety and security, had to pay more than R500 000 in compensation to Madimetja Phineas Kutumela who was wrongfully arrested in 2004 in connection with the kidnapping and murder of Constable Francis Rasuge.

According to the judgment, Mano and other SA Police Service members assaulted Kutumela and initiated malicious proceedings against him.

"You use illegal, unlawful, and cruel methods to extract evidence," Arendse said to Mano.


He questioned the interviews Mano had with both accused in the Terre'Blanche case.

Arendse called it astonishing that Mano had delayed contacting the teenager's mother before conducting an interview with him.

"My lord, I did not do it immediately, but I did it," Mano replied.

Earlier on Friday, the court heard that Mano allegedly threatened to kill Mahlangu.

"You would arrange for him [Mahlangu] to be taken to a magistrate to make a statement, and if he does not do as you tell him, then you will kill him," Mahlangu's lawyer Kgomotso Tlouane put it to Mano. He denied this.

The pointing out of crime scenes and procedures followed were also questioned.

Mano admitted he initiated the pointing out and that the youth, before pointing out the crime scenes, had not slept since the night of the murder.

"You wanted them to show not where the crime took place, but what they did," Arendse told Mano.

Mano said: "This was not true."

Racial confrontations

Arendse explained how the teenager was transported from Ventersdorp to the Klerksdorp police station, driven to Terre'Blanche’s farm the day after the murder, and finally back to the Ventersdorp police station.

Mano replied: "According to my observation [the youth] had no signs of maybe being sleepy or maybe being uncomfortable."

Tlouane questioned Mano about why the two accused needed to be transferred at all.

"Ventersdorp has always been in the news about racial confrontations," Mano said.

He was worried that as Terre'Blanche was the leader of the AWB, his followers might take matters into their own hands and attack the police station.

"There was a lot of tension," he said. It was taken as a precautionary measure.

Arendse said: "The only reason you wanted to move them from Ventersdorp to Klerksdorp was to interrogate them and subject them to a pointing out that was irregular, because there was no mother present."

Mano denied this.

"Throughout your career, including this case, your approach is that the end justifies the means," Arendse said.

The court was adjourned until Monday.

  • Larry - 2012-02-03 19:39

    I notice that the defence includes a very high priced Attorney in the defence team. I wonder who is paying for this?

      Shirley - 2012-02-03 19:46

      Give you one guess!This isnt the run of the mill legal aid lawyer.

      colin.dovey - 2012-02-03 19:59

      Does it begin with A? :-)

      andre.sunnasy - 2012-02-03 20:25

      yip....AWB, you can't put anything past those dimwits

      Sylvester Mohloli - 2012-02-03 20:43

      Arendse and Majavu 'volunteered' their services, my understanding of that is they doing it for free, feel free to come up with conspiracies

      Lucky Manaswe - 2012-02-04 10:55

      Yes Majavu is volunteering his services I don't know about the others. I would have done the same too if I was an attorney.

  • Comrade - 2012-02-03 19:40


  • Burtfred - 2012-02-03 19:59

    The cop is as bad as the perp. Both rubbish.

  • Vegi - 2012-02-03 20:45

    It seems as if the whole case is beginning to unravel now.

  • Vegi - 2012-02-03 20:58

    If Mahlangu says he was acting in self defence, the question now is whether he did not exceed the bounds of self defence. If Terreblanche was carrying a lethal weapon like a firearm, Mahlangu may claim that the lethal wounds were inflicted only with the intention of immobilising him so as not to be able to use the weapon, and not to kill him. Depending on the extent and gravity of the injuries inflicted, this kind of defence may succeed and the accused will be acquitted.

  • Cracker - 2012-02-03 21:04

    Why not eliminate all the accusations etc by simply using the available technology to electronically record what takes place between state and citizen? Video tape with sound and get it over with. No need for later recriminations and having to rebut/defend he/she says this and the other he/she says that. Change the law to make the use of available technology obligatory. We owe it to ourselves and our freedoms that we do not have to rely on subjective evidence and sometimes plain lies to determine the freedoms/guilt/innocence of people.

  • Nadine Booyse - 2012-02-03 21:36

    Very interesting attacking the police for doing their job. The two murderers went to the police station and confessed, then went to the crime scene and pointed out evidence. Now the police are being blamed for violating their rights. The seem to have more rights than the man they killed. It's always the same in good old SA.

      Cracker - 2012-02-03 22:45

      @ Nadine...... Questioning or disputing the evidence against you does not mean that you have more rights than anybody else. I would think you are entitled to disputation rights. The factual reality (OK, plain waarheid) is that nobody can be trusted. Not the police and not the defense. Just adopt a common sense approach. Use the technology available to remove almost all doubt by recording what takes place between the state and its (subordinate) citizens. No need for lengthy arguments and disputes later. For the sake of ALL of us. As for praising the police in this case, perhaps you and others of the same inclination in this particular case should look at the numerous other not-so-nice incidences that we hear of every day. Let's try some real objectivity sometimes.

      Nadine Booyse - 2012-02-04 00:35

      @ Cracker- very well said.

      carpejugulim - 2012-02-04 07:19

      Criminals have more rights than Joe Public and Joe Public has more rights than the Police Officers ... welcome to SA

      carpejugulim - 2012-02-04 07:30

      @ Cracker as wonderful as the concept of using technology to record what takes place you will get someone that squeals that it is against their rights. By recording the chain of events you are removing the later possibility of accusations of: - a forced confession (ala Donovan Moodley) - police brutality - I was misquoted or any other fairly plausible excuse that would be difficult to prove if there were recordings available

  • Johan - 2012-02-04 06:33

    he is a murdrer, finish and klaar. The ANC will always protect these uneducated criminals because it is their vote that keeps the ANC in parlement.

      Lucky Manaswe - 2012-02-04 11:04

      Another dumb comment. How do ANC get involved in this?

  • Johan - 2012-02-04 06:36

    Here they had had someone admitting to the crime and they still made a mess of it. Maybe it was on purpose?

  • Ettiene - 2012-02-06 01:23

    police just as useless as the government, wonder what would have happened if it was whites who hacked Mandela to death???

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