Terre'Blanche accused 'may flee'

2010-06-10 13:33

Ventersdorp - Should Eugene Terre'Blanche's murder accused Chris Mahlangu be granted bail, he will never be found again, the Ventersdorp Magistrate's Court heard on Thursday.

Investigating officer Tsietsi Mano said Mahlangu may leave the country because he did not have a residential address in South Africa or an identity document or passport.

Mahlangu and a 15-year-old boy are accused of bludgeoning the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) leader to death in his bedroom on his farm outside Ventersdorp in the North West on Easter Saturday.

Mano told the court that after the crime the 15-year-old phoned the police, allegedly confessed to the crime and told them where Mahlangu could be found. Police drove along the N14 and found Mahlangu.

Defence attorney Puna Moroko questioned Mano about why Mahlangu did not disappear.

Nationality disputed

"He had plenty of time to disappear, but he didn't," Moroko said.

Mano agreed, saying: "He had plenty of time to run away and didn't, but the accused is aware of the seriousness of the offence and the harsh sentences meted out for these types of crimes. The accused person doesn't have a residential address in South Africa and he is Zimbabwean."

If he were granted bail, there was a possibility he may "run away".

"Should he not stand trial he will never be found anywhere," said Mano.

Moroko and Mano disputed if Mahlangu was Zimbabwean. The former said there was no evidence to prove Mahlangu was Zimbabwean.

"The accused failed to prove he was South African by him not having an ID, and that he doesn't appear on the population register."

Moroko said the accused would stay with his uncle if granted bail.

Mano argued that even if the uncle accommodated Mahlangu, it did not guarantee he would stand trial.

High Court referral

The court also heard from Moroko that the stealing of Terre'Blanche's cellphone and attempts to take his Corsa bakkie did not make it an armed robbery, but theft.

"One cannot rob a dead man... it is not armed robbery, it is theft."

The matter was adjourned briefly so Magistrate Magaola Foso could see both Moroko and Mano in his chambers as their exchanges had become heated.

Terre'Blanche's wife Martie and daughter Bea sat in the front row of the public gallery with several AWB members.

The minor appeared briefly before Mahlangu.

Foso said prosecutors had referred the case to the High Court for trial.

"The High Court would be seated in the Ventersdorp Magistrate's Court from November 22 to 26. Indictments were prepared and handed to the accused and everything is in order."

Mano's cross examination would continue after the morning break.