ET murder trial enters final phase

Pre-sentencing arguments for the Eugene Terre’Blanche murder trial are set to get underway on Monday.

AWB members outside the Ventersdorp Magistrates Court on 18 June 2012. Picture: Rahima Essop/EWN

VENTERSDORP - The Eugene Terre’Blanche murder trial will enter its final phase on Monday, with pre-sentencing arguments set to get underway.

Farm worker Chris Mahlangu was convicted of murder in May, while his 18-year old co-accused Patrick Ndlovu was found guilty of housebreaking.

Terre’Blanche, the former leader of rightwing group Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB), was bludgeoned to death on his farmhouse on the outskirts of Ventersdorp in April 2010.

Judge John Horn will hear arguments in aggravation and mitigation of sentence on Monday.

Ndlovu’s lawyers hope to convince the court that their client should not spend any time in jail.

His attorney Zola Majavu will produce two reports to the Ventersdorp High Court.

“We’ll be relying primarily on the probation officer’s report, as well as the social worker's report who was looking after the boy while he was a minor,” he said.

Ndlovu spent the past two years in a youth centre because he was underage when charged with murder and housebreaking.

Mahlangu was found guilty on charges of murder, attempted robbery and housebreaking with the intent to steal.

The judge dismissed any claims that he was sodomised by Terre’Blanche and questioned why he did not mention it earlier in the trial.

Meanwhile, AWB members have gathered outside the courthouse and a short distance away, supporters of Mahlangu and Ndlovu arrived.

The two groups have clashed in the past.

A representative from the local Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), John Tau, said the 18-year-old should never have been working on the farm as the Labour Relations Act forbids the employment of minors.

Tau said the pair should get light sentences.