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drama at et's murder trial

By Mzwandile kaBizokwakhe | May 11, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

THERE was drama during the bail application yesterday of one of the men accused of the murder of Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging leader Eugene Terre'Blanche.

Chris Mahlangu is accused of the murder of Terre'Blanche on April 3, together with a 15-year-old minor who cannot be named, though the investigating officer blurted out his identity in court yesterday.

The first surprise was that the state, after adding a charge of crimen injuria when the two last appeared on April 6, chose "to put that one in abeyance".

Mahlangu, 28, is now charged with housebreaking, murder and a new charge of attempted robbery.

Surprisingly, the state argued for this to be a schedule 6 application, deferring the onus to "show exceptional circumstance" for Mahlangu to be released on bail.

Investigating officer Tsietsi Mano then dug a hole under the defence, alleging Mahlangu had given three different addresses as his place of residence, two dates of birth and two places of birth.

Mahlangu had allegedly also told Mano that he did not have a family and was supported by a girlfriend.

His lawyer had earlier read an affidavit which cast Mahlangu as a breadwinner for his two children.

"This is the first time, My Lord, that I hear that accused number one has children," Mano said.

"It is the first time too that I have heard that he has a girlfriend."

Matters were looking rather dim for Mahlangu's application after he had told the court that he had no ID, passport, birth certificate or even a baptismal certificate.

He said a shack in which he had lived with his mother was set alight by a jealous boyfriend. The fire had destroyed all the documents.

Then it was the turn of the defence to upstage the state, which tried to read an alleged confession that defence attorney Puna Moroko had stopped on April 6.

"This is a trial by ambush," he charged before the state tucked its tail between its legs conceding error.

The case was postponed to May 19.


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