'No evidence of Terre'blanche murder'

2010-06-10 22:38

Ventersdorp - There was no direct evidence that former AWB leader Eugene Terre'Blanche was murdered, the Ventersdorp Magistrate's court heard on Thursday.

In his closing argument for the bail application of Chris Mahlangu, defence lawyer Puna Moroko said that there was no direct evidence to indicate exactly what happened on the day Terre'Blanche died.

He said it was based only on suspicion.

Moroko submitted that Mahlangu's version of events was that he acted in self-defence.

He said on paper the State's case looked very strong but on the cross examination it had proved to be very weak. There was no robbery with aggravating circumstances and was simply theft of a cellphone at most.

Moroko said that once the trial proceeds he will move that the charges be reduced from premeditated murder to self-defence.

Mahlangu and a 15-year-old youth are accused of murdering Terre'Blanche in his bedroom on his farm outside Ventersdorp, in the North West, on Easter Saturday.

'Bail not punishment'

Earlier on Thursday the court heard that Terre'Blanche had driven Mahlangu and the youth to a liquor store where they bought a bottle of vodka and about 30 bottles of cider.

Moroko said the amount of alcohol given to them could "quench the thirst of everyone in this court".

He said it was unclear if the alcohol had affected his client's mental capacity as no examination was carried out on them.

The case against the accused was arguable and the purpose of bail was not to mete out punishment, said Moroko.

Moroko said that bail should be granted to his client because he was a South African citizen, and not a Zimbabwean as reported.

He submitted that Mahlangu had applied for a South African identity book several times but was always told to come back.

"It's not his fault he does not have one... if you are illegal they arrest you there and then. My client was never arrested," said Moroko.