Prosecutors Wednesday challenged claims that slain white-supremacist leader Eugene Terre’Blanche had physically or sexually abused the two farmworkers charged with his murder.
The two workers — Chris Mahlangu and a teenager, then aged 28 and 15 — are accused of beating to death the co-founder of the white-extremist Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB) on April 3, 2010.
Mahlangu has claimed Terre’Blanche had raped him, while the teenager said police had failed to act on a case of physical abuse filed against the founder of the once-notorious separatist group.
But prosecutor George Baloyi said in his closing argument that claims of sexual abuse were a “made-up story”, and denied police had ignored the abuse case.
“The reason that the accused acted in self-defence won’t stand,” Baloyi said, noting that expert evidence showed Terre’Blanche was beaten on the head while lying down.
The teenager has denied involvement in the killing, while Mahlangu claims he acted in self-defence when the 69-year-old attacked him with a machete.
Judge John Horn has ruled most evidence against the teenager inadmissable because police failed to follow South Africa’s child protection law in handling the case.
But Baloyi argued the Child Justice Act only came into force three days before the murder.
“The police were well within their rights to detain (the teenager) in a police cell until he appeared in court,” Baloyi said.
The trial has run for more than two years in the small northwest town of Ventersdorp, where Terre’Blanche was killed in a bed at his farmhouse.
The murder revived memories of the darkest days of the apartheid era, but has largely faded from public discussion in South Africa.
During the trial, white AWB members have held demonstrations outside the courthouse and displayed placards reading “Save the Boer”, referring to the descendants of the first Dutch settlers.