PROVISIONS of the new Child Justice Act stalled sentencing proceedings in the Eugene Terre’Blanche murder trial, with a probation officer indicating he first has to interview the AWB leader’s family before compiling his mitigating report.
State Advocate George Baloyi told the Ventersdorp Regional Court yesterday that Johan Engel would need at least six weeks to interview Terre’Blanche’s family and compile his report on Patrick Ndlovu – the man who was barely 16 when Terre’Blanche was killed.
Originally charged for the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) leader’s murder along with Chris Mahlangu, Ndlovu was acquitted on the murder charge last month after Judge John Horn found that the State had failed to advance evidence indicating he participated in the murder.
With no forensic evidence linking him to the crime, Ndlovu, now 18, was convicted only on a charge of breaking into Terre’Blanche’s house with the intention to steal.
His attorney Zola Majavu said he was “disappointed” with the postponement but “respects that the victim’s family also has to be heard”.
While a psychologist’s report on Mahlangu has been completed, Baloyi said some amendments still had to be made before it was presented before court.
Mahlangu was convicted for the 2010 Easter weekend murder last month, with Judge Horn ruling that the man who claimed to have attacked Terre’Blanche in self-defence had broken into the AWB leader’s house with the intention to steal. He also found him guilty on a charge of robbery.
The judge dismissed claims that Mahlangu had attacked the AWB leader in self-defence, agreeing with blood-spatter expert Lieutenant-Colonel Ian van der Nest’s evidence that Terre’Blanche was hit so hard on his head that the first blow had incapacitated him, making it impossible to fight back.
While conceding that Mahlangu had a constitutional right to remain silent, he criticised his decision, saying he should have used the opportunity to answer to overwhelming evidence
Despite the verdict, residents of Tshing still view Mahlangu in high regard and they gathered outside court yesterday brandishing placards mocking Terre’Blanche’s family and the AWB.
On the opposite side of the street stood members of the AWB breakaway group the Gelofde Volk – clad in camouflage uniforms and brandishing old Transvaal flags.
Judge Horn postponed the matter to August 20.