Discrepancies between the story given by the accused murderers of Eugene Terreblanche and evidence found at the murder scene are leaving the slain AWB leader’s family and others wondering how he was really killed, and who else may be involved.
Two Black farm workers employed by Terreblanche have been arrested for the murder. Initial reports, including a public statement issued by the mother of one of the accused, say he was killed over a wage dispute.
Published rumors of a used condom found at the murder scene were quickly denounced as a lie by police. Robert van Heerden of the Ventersdorp Emergency Services, who was one of the very first at the scene, told reporters that Terreblanche’s pants were not pulled down around his knees as reported.
“The story that Mr. Terreblanche’s pants were brought down to his knees is nonsense. His belt was loose and his fly was open,” van Heerden told reporters.
The spokeswoman who discredited the used condom report has been taken off the case without notice, along with the entire initial investigation team.
That team came to fame a while back for catching South African president Jacob Zuma on corruption charges that were later dropped. They also put together a case that sent a Zuma crony to jail for corruption.
A new team known as the “Hawks” has been assigned to the case. While the Hawks are considered to be South Africa’s elite criminal investigation unit, they are politically dependent on the ANC and report to Bheki Cele, who is an old comrade of Zuma from the “struggle” years. Cele has the ability to tell the Hawks how to run their investigation.
The BBC reports that the Hawks are now investigating a possible sex link to the murder, and have taken the suspect’s clothes for forensic evaluation.
“We are not going to focus on one thing,” said Musa Zondi of the Hawks. “We will investigate all pertinent facts that have a bearing on the matter.”
The two accused farm workers, a 28-year-old man and 15-year-old boy, changed their initial story of a wage dispute gone wrong to say they were defending themselves against unwanted sexual advances by Terreblanche. The 28-year old, Chris Malangu, has now recanted the allegation and claims he was “throttled” by the AWB leader.
As of April 14th, 2010, the lawyer representing Malungu, Puna Moroko, says there was no political motivation in the attack. “Terre’blanche attacked his employees and they retaliated,” Moroko told reporters.
The lawyer representing the 15-year-old is considered to be one of the of the top criminal law practitioners in the country. His fees, which reportedly run towards US $7,00 a day, are being paid for by the ANC.
Phillip Dexter, spokesman for the opposition political party COPE, has blasted the ANC for paying the legal bills. “This sends out the wrong message to South Africans as the ruling alliance has effectively signaled that it will defend, with all the vast resources at its disposal, anyone who kills a prominent white person,” he said in a published statement.
“While we acknowledge that every South African has the right to an adequate defence in a court of law, the current climate of mistrust between people in this country makes this politically clumsy at best, and at worst it is cynical, political opportunism.”
An exposé by South African television news magazine Carte Blanche has uncovered physical evidence from the murder scene which raises questions about the story that Terreblanche was overpowered while taking a nap. Van Heerden notes that he found the bedroom door was locked from the outside. Broken glass was found lying outside the broken window of the bedroom, and not inside it. A second broken window was found in a different part of the house.
Additionally, blood stains and bloody handprints have been found all over the house, including a second bedroom.
Another unusual death points toward a larger conspiracy in the murder of Terreblanche. His domestic worker, Rosie Mateu, died at the Ventersdorp police station a week before the AWB leader was killed. Her family was told by police that Mateu “slipped” and broke her neck while at the station.
Many of the scenarios typical of plaasmorde attacks can be applied to the Terreblanche murder. Typically, the pre-meditated killings require the co-operation of the Black community who work on the farms surrounding the victim, as well as on the farm itself. If the Black worker does not co-operate with the attack, they get murdered along with their bosses.
There are also reports that a red car was seen leaving the Terreblanche residence shortly before the murder allegedly took place.