Court bid for access to ET trial

THE Ventersdorp magistrate's court will today hear the media's arguments for access to the trial of the two people accused of killing right-winger Eugene Terre'Blanche, picturedbelow, a law firm said.

THE Ventersdorp magistrate's court will today hear the media's arguments for access to the trial of the two people accused of killing right-winger Eugene Terre'Blanche, picturedbelow, a law firm said.

"We are bringing an application for authorisation in terms of the Child Justice Act for the public and media to attend the proceedings, not only for the bail application on Wednesday, but the entire trial," attorney Dario Milo of Webber Wentzel said.

The application will be heard at 9am before the actual murder case.

The firm is acting on behalf of Media 24, Independent Newspapers and the South African National Editors' Forum.

Milo emphasised the identity of one of the accused, who is 15, would be protected at all times.

"However, the general principles of open justice demand that court proceedings be heard in public, and to exclude the media and public would be a disproportionate restriction on media freedom," he said.

If journalists were allowed access, the logistics would be debated in court as there was a huge media contingent covering the case and not everyone would be allowed in, he said.

"We are confident that the magistrate will exercise his discretion as to whether to allow access in accordance with constitutional values," said Milo.

Terre'Blanche, 69, was murdered on April 3 on his farm outside Ventersdorp in the North West.

It was initially thought that a dispute over unpaid wages was behind the killing, but the Hawks confirmed they were investigating the possibility of a sex-crime. - Sapa

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