Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Murderer of Eugene Terre'Blanche


Ventersdorp - The new counsel for Chris Mahlangu, accused along with a minor of killing AWB leader Eugene Terre'Blanche, was on Tuesday granted a postponement in the Ventersdorp High Court to prepare for trial.

                                                                   Chris Mahlangu

Mahlangu’s previous attorney Puna Moroko came under fire by Mahlangu’s new attorney, Advocate Kjomogso Tlowana, for not having carried out the required legal work.

                                                                    Puna Moroko
Tlowana submitted that forensic and DNA evidence, photographs, witness statements and pointing-outs had not been examined by experts.

He said Moroko should have tracked down potential witnesses to help the defence, but had not done so.

The court heard that Moroko had made numerous statements to the media that were potentially detrimental to Mahlangu’s case. These reports may be included in the defence’s evidence.

Tlowana said his client would be prejudiced and not receive a fair trial if the case was not postponed.

Previous counsel’s withdrawal slammed

Advocate Norman Arendse, acting on behalf of the minor, said there was reason to believe Moroko had not consulted with Mahlangu since last year. He said Moroko only contacted Mahlangu on Thursday to tell him he was withdrawing from the case.

                                                                   Norman Arendse

Lawyers Norman Arendse and Zola Majavu talk at the Ventersdorp High Court.

“And this was only confirmed on Friday…. To withdraw at the last minute is totally unacceptable… it should be looked at by the Law Society… it brings the law profession into disrepute,” an angry Arendse said.

Arendse said there was a possibility both defence teams could merge.

“There is a possibility that we may form one defence team for both accused. That requires a lot of attention, consent of the accused and consent from the minor's parents.”

Judge John Horn said the trial would have to start before next Friday as he would be unavailable thereafter.

                                                              Judge John Horn
Arendse argued that if Horn was not available, another judge should be assigned to the case.

“Once the defence finds a strategy, we may reapply for bail. We are mindful of the great public interest… but this should also not weigh heavily against the accused. This request is far from being unusual,” Arendse said.

Untagged media barred from court

The court gave the defence until Monday to say when it would be ready for trial, but the case would not go ahead on Monday.

The media and four Terre'Blanche family members were placed in a small room with two large flat screen, closed-circuit televisions to view Tuesday's proceedings.

The 16 journalists granted access to the room were handed green name cards by a court official, and were subjected to a search. Those without the tags could not enter the room.

Photographers and cameramen were escorted to the actual courtroom where they were allowed to take pictures and film only Mahlangu.

A large group of uniformed AWB members, and supporters of the accused stood outside the court house as police put up yellow crime scene tape to keep them away from the gates. Police and security officials were at various points at the court.

At the pair's first court appearance last year, local black residents and AWB members taunted each other, almost coming to blows. Police separated them with barbed wire. There were however no such scenes on Tuesday.

Mahlangu and the minor allegedly bludgeoned Terre'Blanche to death at his farmhouse in April last year, apparently due to a wage dispute.

A bed, with blood stains, is seen inside Eugene Terre’Blanche’s home where the AWB leader was found murdered at his farm in Ventersdorp, North West. 
A bloodied tooth ripped out. A bloodstained wooden bed-frame. A filthy carpet. Crime-scene tape fluttering in the breeze.
These are some of the reminders of AWB leader Eugene Terre’Blanche’s last moments.
The murder received international media coverage and sparked public debate about race relations, raised questions of whether the crime was politically motivated, and dealt with speculation of sodomy.

There were also claims that the murder was linked to the singing of "shoot the boer" by ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema.

                                                                   Julius Malema


The Black Threat

by Hügo Krüger

I’m responding to columnist Xolela Mangcu’s article “White South Africans must outgrow the politics of fear” (City Press, April 24).

Sir, I am here to inform you that “die swart gevaar (the black threat)” is still very much alive among white South Africans, ­especially those in the Afrikaner community.

When the Afrikaners decided to vote in the March 17 1992 referendum on the question of whether they wanted to end apartheid, the overwhelming ­majority voted against the ­system.

As a community, white South ­Africans came to the conclusion that apartheid was no longer morally justified.

According to them, the ideology never achieved what it set out to achieve and it had created far too much conflict, which did not favour blacks or whites.

However, to reflect on this, many grasped the reality that the decision meant the end of their political power in South Africa, the last election where they would ever have a major say in which direction the country would head.

This, I ­believe, ended on the moral high ground and we probably ­became the first people ever to vote ourselves willingly out of power.However, throughout the apartheid years many of us, the Afrikaners, were indoctrinated by “the swart gevaar”.

The idea we had was that once black people took over South Africa, it would go up in flames and there would be a bloodbath.

But thanks to the great leadership of presidents Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk at that time, SA entered democracy without black versus white violence, and we accepted black majority rule.

But there was one condition for this that had to be met, which was essentially the aim of the Codesa negotiations, that white minority rights be guaranteed in one way or another in the new South Africa.

This is where I would like to start when I say that “die swart gevaar” is still alive. Not in the real sense, I firmly believe that black South Africans have no intention of heading the Zimbabwe route, in fact, many that I have met would not sing “shoot the boer” in my presence just as I ­also would not chant hate-speech slogans in their presence.

This is out of mutual respect for one another.

We acknowledge our differences as blacks and whites.

And there is one common factor that still determines our rights in this country – safety in numbers.

You see, throughout our existence ­Afrikaners had two problems, as the late anti-apartheid activist Alan Paton put it, the English problem and the native problem.

On the issues of black economic empowerment, affirmative ­action, nationalisation and land ­reform, Afrikaners are at the mercy of black South Africans.

When it comes to renaming our cities – which Afrikaners helped to build – we are marginalised.

In the Julius Malema hate- speech court case, the ANC made the point that they would like to keep their historical songs and are fully entitled to that.

But by renaming towns and cities without consulting the ­Afrikaner and by expecting us to give away our farms without compensation cannot be right.

The fact that we are being told all this will happen and that we have no say, isn’t okay at all.

It doesn’t only end with ANC Youth League policies – our ­universities have increasingly been pressured to “transform” thus losing the language policy.

The feeling among the ­Afrikaner community is that of isolation, withdrawal and ­ignorance about the South ­African life.

Many of us refuse to entertain politics because we are formally unrepresented in the national ­debate and thus we are at the mercy of “die swart gevaar”.

We still feel that South Africa is our father’s land and we would like to see it work.

But we would like to see it work by first keeping our identity, by first preserving our history and by teaching our children in our own language.

In order for South Africa to work, the Afrikaner must be ­given “a plekkie onder die son (a small place under the sun)”, then our fear of “die swart gevaar” will disappear. 


Policeman Arrested for Murder


Mahikeng - A 26-year-old policeman based at the Potchefstroom Crime Combating Unit (CCU) was arrested in connection with the shooting of a man in Khuma, Stilfontein, the Independent Complaints Directorate said on Monday.

The policeman allegedly shot Tshepo Johannes Tau, 23, on Sunday at a tavern in Khuma after an argument, ICD spokesperson Moses Dlamini said in a statement.

"The argument apparently led to the constable being assaulted by Mr Tau.

"Then the constable allegedly went home and returned with his service pistol after which he fired at Mr Tau," he said.

Tau was shot in the stomach and cheek and his 28-year-old brother was shot in the left elbow. Both were admitted to hospital. Tau died on Monday morning.

The policeman opened a case of assault with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm. A case of attempted murder opened against the policeman had been converted to a murder charge.

Earlier on Monday North West police said the policeman was at his girlfriend's house at 18:30 on Sunday when two men entered, dragged him outside and attacked him.

Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said the policeman went to report the incident at a nearby police station.

On his way home he was again attacked by a group of people.

"He allegedly used the firearm to save himself from the mob attack. He then shot at two of the attackers and went back again to Khuma police station to report the incident," Ngubane said.

The policeman is expected to appear in the Stilfontein Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.


New Arms Deal Probe

May 1 2011 

The Constitutional Court will on Thursday hear arguments for an independent probe into the country's multi-billion-rand arms deal, the Sunday Tribune reported. 

Arms deal activist Terry Crawford-Browne is asking for a court order instructing President Jacob Zuma to commission an inquiry into South Africa's purchase of warships, fighter jets and other weapons from European arms companies.  

The deals were concluded in 1999. 

Crawford-Browne argues in court papers: “The background factual matrix upon which I rely is replete with evidence and allegations which cry out for proper investigation with a view to bringing those guilty of possible criminal activity to justice...” 

                                                           Terry Crawford-Browne

Terry Crawford-Browne was born in Ireland and grew up in Libya. At 17 he went to the USA, joined the military and graduated from the University of Minnesota before leaving for South Africa in 1967. He returned to the United States with his family in 1970 to start a career in banking but four years later Nedbank recruited him and he came back to South Africa for good. He represented the Anglican Church at the Western Province Council of Churches and the parliamentary Defence Review. From 1985 until 1993 he advised Dr Allan Boesak and Archbishop Desmond Tutu on the banking sanctions campaign against apartheid. Currently he chairs the South African affiliate of Economists Allied for Arms Reduction

In their heads of argument Zuma's lawyers argue the Constitution gives the president discretionary power to decide whether to institute a judicial enquiry. They say that power was properly exercised by former president Kgalema Motlanthe when he decided against a probe.

                                               Former President Kgalema Motlanthe

According to research for a new book by former ANC MP Andrew Feinstein, the true price of the arms deal could be as high as R70 billion, compared to initial estimates of R40 billion.  

                                                 Former ANC MP Andrew Feinstein

Constantia Houses for Poor

May 2 2011

The ANC has promised to build houses for the poor in Constantia if it wins the local government election in Cape Town. 

“The first thing to do is build homes for our people in Constantia where government owns land,” the party's mayoral candidate Tony Ehrenreich said at Cosatu's May Day rally on Sunday. 

He said the ANC “will win Cape Town” and declared it a “decent work city”. 

Speaking to about 2000 people in the 40,000-seater Athlone Stadium, he said he would, if he were to become mayor, ensure better health, education and housing for people in places like Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plain and Gugulethu. 

                                            R297 million Athlone Stadium

He accused the DA of taking care of the rich only.
Ehrenreich said the ANC was aware of the gap between the promises in the Freedom Charter and what was actually being done, but said the party had “done much for the people” and would continue to do so. 

The first thing to do is build homes for our people in Constantia where government owns land

SA Communist Party secretary general Blade Nzimande, who spoke after Ehrenreich, criticised the media for supporting the opposition. He said it spread the message of despair, designed to make workers and the poor lose heart. The media aligned itself with every party against the ANC, he said. 

ANC has failed its people

May 2 2011

ANC veteran Winnie Madikizela-Mandela lambasted the party for slow delivery and said it had failed the people. 

Speaking at a Workers’ Day rally at the Lucas Moripe stadium in Atteridgeville, Pretoria, Madikizela-Mandela said the death of Andries Tatane in Ficksburg and service delivery protests in areas that were traditionally ANC strongholds were proof that the party had let down the masses. 

She also claimed that public spats between senior leaders in the tripartite alliance were a manifestation of a leadership crisis and that there was no guarantee that the alliance could withstand the storm. 

Although she urged the more than 3 000-strong crowd to campaign and vote for the ANC in the local government elections, she said the patience of voters was wearing thin and their confidence in the ANC should not be taken for granted. 

“Our people are refusing to be victims of broken promises. They have resorted to protests as forms of direct action because their hopes have been blasted. The shadow of disappointment is written in their faces,” she said. 

Quoting Martin Luther King, Madikizela-Mandela warned that “there comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men and women are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair”. 

She added: “There can never be peace when economic injustice prevails. And we mislead ourselves if we think we can set the timetable for other people’s socio-economic freedom. Our people demand socio-economic justice, and they demand it now.” 

She said the ANC had failed to deal with the underlying causes of problems the poor were facing on a daily basis. 

“This is a manifestation of the political crisis,” she said. 

“There was a time when we led, today we spend most of our time responding. This reflects another crisis, a leadership crisis.” 

She said Tatane’s death and other problems in other communities could have been avoided if the ANC had been in touch and engaged with its people. 

“Ficksburg and the death of Andries Tatane should be a constant reminder of an experiment gone wrong and a failure to compose a revolutionary song that is in tune with the people” said Madikizela-Mandela. 

She said the ANC had taken its eye off the ball, lost its way and needed to refer back to the Freedom Charter to get back into line

“We are increasingly allowing ourselves to be hoodwinked by irrelevancies instead of dealing with the main challenges of our times. 

“We seem to have veered off the track of what we intended to create – a non-racial, non-sexist, non-ethnic and prosperous society envisaged in the constitution. 

“At times like this we need a political, moral and economic compass to take us back into the correct direction and correct path. 

“Fortunately for us, the Freedom Charter serves this purpose of guiding us back to the correct trajectory,” she said. 

She was confident people would still vote for the ANC but warned comrades that they needed to deliver what they had promised. 

It is worth noting that even as we fail the masses, they still expect us to lead because they know we are the only progressive force that can ameliorate their conditions

“We dare not fail them or take their faith in us for granted,” said Madikizela-Mandela. 

Nor did she mince her words about the state of the tripartite alliance, which has seen public spats between senior leaders of the ANC, Cosatu and the SA Communist Party. 

“It is an understatement that the alliance is at war with itself. We mislead ourselves that because it is an alliance forged in the crucible of struggle, it can withstand all political storms,” she said. 

“We survived the storms because the movement and the alliance were led by men and women of vision, who could use their skills to galvanise the masses of our people… we have to put our house in order. It is not too late. 

“The public spat between leaders of the alliance must cease. 

“Yes, it will get us a few headlines, but it will not advance our agenda of ensuring that the rainbow nation that is talked about becomes a reality.” 

Political leaders, including Tshwane mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa, 

ANC Gauteng chairman Paul Mashatile 

and Cosatu CEC member Mugwena Maluleke

were also at the rally and offered Workers Day messages , emphasising that the workers still faced many challenges 17 years into democracy and that their plight must be shared by the whole country. 

Cops Caught on CCTV

Assault by cops caught on CCTV

May 2 2011 

Pretoria police officers have been caught on CCTV cameras kicking and punching an unarmed man, Beeld reported on Monday. 

Theuns Potgieter, 33, of Silverton had gone to a petrol station in Gezina around 9pm on Thursday, April 21, to get two flat tyres repaired. 

He had his firearm tucked into the back of his pants, but did not have his licence with him. 

CCTV footage shows police officers arriving at the station and walking over to where Potgieter and his friend are talking to another man in the workshop area. 


“Even before they asked me I took out my gun and put it on the car's engine cover. The police told us to lie down. I raised my arms and lay down,” he was quoted as saying. 

Another man, presumably a plain-clothes policeman, then walks up to Potgieter and kicks him in the stomach several times as officers in uniform look on. He then stomps on his head, punches him in the face and kicks him in the stomach again. 

A uniformed officer then kicks Potgieter. While he is being handcuffed the first policeman kicks him again. He was taken to the Pretoria Moot police station, accused of possession of an unlicensed firearm, pointing a firearm and resisting arrest. 

Potgieter was taken to hospital after vomiting blood and passing blood in his urine. After he was discharged he appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court where he was released on bail of R2000. While in custody it was confirmed that he was the lawful owner of the gun. 

According to Potgieter, police refused to help him open an assault case against the officers. 

Gauteng police spokesman Colonel Neville Malila told Beeld: “... such alleged conduct by police members cannot be tolerated.” 

                                                            Colonel Neville Malila 

The matter was being viewed in a serious light and would be investigated, he said. 

Potgieter's beating was the third case of alleged police violence in two weeks

Last week Jeanette Odendaal was shot dead, allegedly by a police sergeant, as she sat in her car outside the Kempton Park police station, after apparently having bumped into a police van while parking. 

Andries Tatane was killed during a protest in Ficksburg. He was allegedly shot at point-blank range with rubber bullets and beaten with rubber truncheons.