Farm worker guilty of killing South African white supremacist

Other News Materials 22 May 2012 19:05 (UTC +04:00)

A black farm worker was found guilty on Tuesday of the 2010 murder of South African militant white supremacist leader Eugene Terre'Blanche, dpa reported according to the eNews Channel.

A co-accused, who was a minor at the time of the death, was found guilty only of a lesser charge of housebreaking.

Both defendants had pleaded not guilty to the charges against them, but declined to testify during the trial. The younger one said he was not at all involved in the incident, while Chris Mahlangu claimed he was acting in self-defence.

Crowds gathered outside the court where the verdict was handed down by Judge John Horn in the town of Ventersdorp. It took several hours for the judgment to be read out in full.

Members of Terre'Blanche's Afrikaaner Weerstandsbeweeging (AWB) - a white ultra-nationalist group - waved swastika-style flags outside the court.

People from the local black community were gathered on the opposite road in a counter-protest, some shouting slogans in support of Mahlangu. The two sides have clashed in the past.

Mahlangu says he was sexually molested by Terre'Blanche and was acting in self-defence when he used a pipe to kill him. Prosecutors dismiss the claims, saying the AWB leader was murdered in his sleep and cite a wage dispute as the motive for the crime.

Much of the evidence against the younger defendant was dismissed, owing to the manner in which the police handled the case. In particular, the court said officers did not follow proper procedures for dealing with a child.

The AWB led a violent campaign in the final years of the apartheid regime to hang on to white-minority rule and prevent blacks and other racial groups in the country from gaining full civil and political rights.

The group has seen its power drastically decline since South Africa became a democracy in 1994, and is estimated to have just a few hundred supporters and a splintered leadership.