SABC News - Eugene TerreBlanche trial postponed to next year:Thursday 20 October 2011

Eugene Terre'Blanche trial postponed to next year

Thursday 20 October 2011 14:48

SAPA

Rightwing leader Eugene Terre'Blanche was killed at his farm house in April last year.

Rightwing leader Eugene Terre'Blanche was killed at his farm house in April last year.(REUTERS)

The trial of two farmworkers accused of killing rightwing leader Eugene Terre'Blanche has been postponed to next year. The High Court sitting in Ventersdorp postponed the trial until January 30.

Chris Mahlangu, 28, and a minor are accused of beating and hacking Terre'Blanche to death in his farmhouse in North West on April 3 last year. Both have pleaded not guilty to murder, housebreaking, and robbery with aggravating circumstances. Mahlangu will remain in police custody, while the 16-year-old will stay in a place of safety.

Earlier today the court  heard that no pathologist was called to attend the murder scene. This was a breach of regulation and was highly unusual, said pathologist Dr Ruweida Moorad. Neither she nor her colleague were notified on April 3 last year, the day Terre'Blanche was beaten and hacked to death.  "Given the nature of the case... that it is high profile... one of us should have been there," she said.

Moorad saw the body only three days later when she carried out a post mortem. The court heard that the mortuary manager was also not contacted. Defence attorney Norman Arendse said given the presence of "very senior police officers" at the scene, a pathologist could have been called in.

"A person who I strongly suspect to be a police officer sought to obstruct the administration of justice by removing evidence from the scene."

An affidavit from an officer on the scene gave a brief description of the body. It was read to the court by Arendse. The officer said Terre'Blanche was lying on a bed full of blood and that there were injuries to the face. His pants were slightly down, showing his genitals. Moorad said the affidavit lacked several details.

Earlier, she said a fluid resembling semen, which was seen in photos of Terre'Blanche's body at the crime scene, may have been wiped off.  "Perhaps when the body was transported in a body bag the semen was wiped off. I honestly don't know," she said.

The substance was not visible when Moorad carried out her examination. She said the body was refrigerated. Her autopsy was done on April 6,  three days after Terre'Blanche was murdered. The defence suspected that the semen might have been deliberately removed.  Arendse said: "A person who I strongly suspect to be a police officer sought to obstruct the administration of justice by removing evidence from the scene."

Moorad said there were no acute injuries to Terre'Blanche's rectum, but there was a linear abrasion on his right scrotum. Farmworker Chris Mahlangu and a minor are accused of beating and hacking the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging leader to death at his farmhouse in North West.

Moorad noted that Terre'Blanche was most likely lying down when he sustained a chop wound to the head.

She described the wound in detail and said she believed it was the first wound he sustained in the attack. "It is my opinion that the injury to the head was the first injury, followed by the face, and then the chest and thighs. Such an injury would have rendered the deceased unconscious at the time." 

 The chop wound resulted in a laceration to the brain. Terre'Blanche sustained multiple fractures to, among others, his skull, ribs, and lower jaw.   There were bruises and lacerations on several parts of his body, including his tongue and liver. All the injuries were on the front of his body.

Moorad found no "typical defence" injuries indicating Terre'Blanche did not attempt to fight off his attackers. "It is more probable that the deceased was lying flat at the time," she said. She agreed that Terre'Blanche's wounds were consistent with those inflicted by a panga. The cause of death was blunt force to the head, chest and neck.

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