Trial opens in S.African white extremist's murder

10th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

The trial of two black farm workers accused of bludgeoning to death South African white supremacist Eugene Terre'Blanche started in a rural court on Monday.

The workers -- Chris Mahlangu, 29, and a 16-year-old -- are accused of hacking to death the co-founder of the far-right Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB) at his farm house outside Ventersdorp on April 3, 2010.

A large media contingent outnumbered a group of about 20 AWB supporters gathered for the hearing in the northwest town.

The group flew the apartheid-era flag and put up posters with slogans like "our farmer Afrikaner blood", printed over the image of an old white man with bloodied hands.

Mahlangu was briefly brought into the courtrooom before the start of the trial for pictures, but was taken out again when he became angry with photographers.

There were few black people outside the court building, in stark contrast to the emotional protests which characterised the first appearance last year when AWB supporters launched into angry arguments with local blacks.

Terre'Blanche's brother Andries was also in court, but refused to comment.

Family and AWB spokesman Johan Potgieter told journalists they wanted the heaviest possible sentence for the alleged killers.

"We want a life-time sentence without a case of parole," he said. "We won't allow that they murder our leaders or wish us away."

The 68-year-old Terre'Blanche's head was beaten with a knob-headed stick, and a machete was found still embedded in his flesh. His genitals had also been exposed.

The two suspects handed themselves in to police after the killing, saying they had fought with their employer over pay, which reportedly was 300 rand (41 dollars, 30 euros) a month.

© 2011 AFP

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