A witness in the trial of two people accused of killing Eugene Terre’Blanche admitted on Wednesday to lying and changing his statement.
This was done on the instruction of investigating officer Captain Tsietsi Mano, police Sergeant Jack Ramonyane told the High Court sitting in Ventersdorp.
The court heard that Ramonyane submitted two statements to police – one on the day of the crime and the other a few weeks later.
In the second one, he had changed several details.
In his first statement, the officer said Terre’Blanche’s trousers were halfway down when they found his body, but in the second statement he denied this.
He had also said that farmworker Chris Mahlangu phoned the police first, but later claimed it was the minor.
The two are accused of beating and hacking to death the right-wing leader in his North West farmhouse in April last year.
Several other contradictions were found.
“You are busy telling this court a pack of lies... You invented the other aspects,” Mahlangu’s lawyer, Kgomotso Tlouane, said.
When the teenager’s attorney, Norman Arendse, took over and grilled him further, Ramonyane admitted he lied.
“Your testimony today is very different from your first statement,” said Arendse.
Ramonyane replied: “Yes, they do differ here and there.”
“He – Mano – told you to say things you didn’t want to say and he told you to say things you didn’t see or hear,” Arendse said.
Ramonyane replied: “That is so.”
The defence also dismissed Ramonyane’s claim that Mahlangu told him he intended selling Terre’Blanche’s cellphone to recoup his outstanding wages.
Mahlangu said he found the cellphone on the ground and only took it in a “desperate attempt” to report the murder to police.
Mahlangu said he kept the cellphone safe in his pocket to give to police, and denied fighting with Terre’Blanche over unpaid wages.
However, in an affidavit submitted earlier, the 28-year-old said he acted in self-defence after an argument with Terre’Blanche over wages.
“Accused one never fought with the deceased over unpaid wages. Accused one accepts that his employer had not paid him in full, but there was nothing he could do,” Tlouane said.
Earlier in the day, Ramonyane told the court he found the pair along a road on the night of the murder.
He said they confessed to the killing and he took them to Terre’Blanche’s farmhouse.
On arrival, he found his bakkie. The doors were open, the ignition cover removed, and the wires cut.
Inside the farmhouse, Ramonyane found Terre’Blanche dead on a bed with a panga on his chest. The body, bed, walls, and a steel pipe were covered in blood.
The sergeant was the fifth person to testify.
Four others took the stand on Monday and Tuesday and claimed the pair admitted to the crime soon after it had happened.
One of them remembered seeing blood on Mahlangu’s overalls. Several items were handed to court as evidence including photos, police statements and Mahlangu’s overalls.
The minor, who left school to become a herdsman for Terre’Blanche’s 97 cattle, has denied involvement in the crime.
Both accused have pleaded not guilty to murder, housebreaking, and attempted robbery with aggravating circumstances.