Gory details emerge in S.African white extremist murder

14th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

Gory, leaked photos of white extremist leader Eugene Terre'Blanche's corpse capped a week of gruesome testimony Friday in his murder trial, with claims of child labour and sex abuse.

While the steel pipe used to bash in his head and the machete used to slice his body were brought before the court, the images of his bloody remains appeared on Facebook.

His belt was undone, his pants pulled down and his genitals exposed. The curved machete known as a panga lay on his mutilated body.

The leaked crime scene photos were posted by a group called "Boere Krisis Aksie", or Afrikaner Crisis Action, which posts racist comments alongside hundreds of pictures of dead or beaten bodies.

Terre'Blanche's family threatened legal action against the group, while prosecutors warned of possible criminal charges.

"It is clearly defeating the ends of justice as most of the pictures have not yet been presented in court as evidence," National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga said.

The photos appeared to have been removed by Friday morning, but the grim details kept pouring from the court, as lawyers for the two farm workers charged in the case exposed mis-steps in the police investigation.

Chris Mahlangu, 28, and a 16-year-old boy who cannot be named for legal reasons have both pleaded not guilty.

Mahlangu said he acted in self-defence when Terre'Blanche attacked him with the machete. The youth claimed Terre'Blanche was already dead when he entered the house.

The two black workers are accused of hacking to death the co-founder of the far-right Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB) at his farmhouse outside the small northwest town of Ventersdorp on April 3, 2010.

A paramedic told the court Friday that blood dripped from Terre'Blanche's body to the floor as his dog lay beneath the bed, and splattered across the walls and curtains.

The court heard that the officer who arrested the pair did not immediately read them their rights and locked the juvenile up with adults.

The same officer then told the court that he had changed his testimony under pressure from his superior.

But three other farm workers testified Mahlangu and the teen confessed shortly after the killing.

"These two men emerged (at my quarters) and Mahlangu said I am your (new) boss today ... I killed Eugene Terre'Blanche," said Matshediso Enie Matsietsa.

A police data recorder said the minor phoned in the crime, saying "my friend and I killed Terre'Blanche."

"He said 'we are hiding in a camp near a farm'. He said 'we want to come to the police station, but we are afraid of whites from other farms, as they may find us and kill us'," Klaas Nkathule testified.

The teenager's lawyer Norman Arendse said Terre'Blanche often plied the boy -- then 15 years old -- with alcohol.

"There were also allegations of verbal, physical and sexual abuse," Arendse said. But he said witnesses were scared to testify.

"The main reason appears to be fears of intimidation, fear they will lose the little they have and the fear they will lose the roof over their head, and the food they receive on the farm," Arendse said.

"We have a situation here of child labour," he added.

Allegations of abuse by Terre'Blanche are not new. He spent three years in prison on a 1997 conviction of trying to kill a security guard who was so severely attacked that he suffered permanent brain damage.

Terre'Blanche's family members and the media followed the trial over television in a separate room, to protect the teenager's identity. He cannot be named or pictured under South African law.

But notably absent have been Terre'Blanche's supporters, who wear swastika-like symbols and who tried to derail South Africa's first all-race elections in 1994.

The trial is set to continue until October 21.

© 2011 AFP

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