Judge rules today on media access to ET trial

Media groups will hear today whether they will be allowed access to the trial of the two accused of the murder of right-winger Eugene Terre’Blanche.

e.tv, Media24 and the SA National Editors’ Forum lodged an application for court access because the trial was closed to the public as one of the accused was a minor.

Last week, argument was heard in the Ventersdorp Circuit Court and judgment was reserved by Pretoria High Court Judge Joseph Raulinga.

Acting on behalf of the media, advocate Steve Budlender argued that there was a compelling and profound public interest in the case, and closing it would undermine the principle of open justice.

He said the killing of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) leader had sparked a public debate on race relations, raised questions on whether the crime was politically motivated, and sparked speculation of sodomy and allegations that the murder was linked to the singing of the “Shoot the Boer” song by the ANC Youth League.

He contended that this was no ordinary murder trial and that Terre’Blanche was no ordinary man.

Budlender proposed that the court permit 14 journalists to be present at the trial with conditions attached, and stressed it would not harm the minor’s rights to a fair trial.

He submitted that if the application was unsuccessful, the media would rely on comments and sound bites from the National Prosecuting Authority and legal representatives involved in the case. This would lead to further speculation.

The minor’s attorney, Zola Majavu, did not oppose the media’s application, saying it did not compromise his client’s identity.

A late application for access to proceedings was also made by the AWB for the Terre’Blanche family and its leadership.

Chris Mahlangu (28) and the 15-year-old allegedly bludgeoned Terre’Blanche to death at his farmhouse outside Ventersdorp in April.

Both were employees at the time and a wage dispute was believed to be the motive.

The trial was expected to get under way on December 6.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
As a child or as an adult, have you ever been a victim of bullying?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, at school
55% - 4235 votes
Yes, at work
18% - 1373 votes
No, I've never experienced this
27% - 2115 votes
Vote
USD/ZAR
14.31
(+0.5)
GBP/ZAR
19.80
(-0.3)
EUR/ZAR
17.19
(+0.3)
AUD/ZAR
11.03
(-0.2)
JPY/ZAR
0.13
(+0.5)
Gold
1,783.38
(-0.6)
Silver
26.12
(-1.6)
Platinum
1,207.13
(-0.8)
Brent Crude
65.32
(-1.9)
Palladium
2,831.19
(-1.7)
All Share
66,972
(-0.3)
Top 40
61,183
(-0.4)
Financial 15
12,096
(-0.2)
Industrial 25
86,814
(+0.1)
Resource 10
68,622
(-0.9)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo