Terre’Blanche Killer Gets Life
A Black farmworker convicted of killing AWB leader Eugene Terre’Blanche was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday, ending a two-year case that raised the possibility of racial unrest in post-Apartheid South Africa.
Chris Mahlangu, 30, was found guilty on May 22 of killing Terre’Blanche during the Easter weekend of 2010. During the pre-sentencing phase of the trial this week, an unrepentant Mahlangu claimed that Terre’Blanche had given him HIV. Judge John Horn rejected the farmworker’s claim that he had been sodomized by Terre’Blanche.
An accomplice who was a minor at the time, Patrick Ndlovu, was acquitted but found guilty of breaking and entering with the intent to steal. He was given a two-year prison sentence, which meant he was freed for having already served time. Ndlovu turned 18 during the trial.
While Mahlangu told the court that he felt he did no wrong by killing Terre’Blanche, Ndlovu did apologize to the AWB leader’s family for his role in the murder.
The sentencing sparked outbursts among demonstrators representing both sides of the case outside of the courthouse. Blacks supporting the convicted murderer broke out into the ANC battle songs, Umshini Wam (Get Me My Machine Gun), and Kill The Boer, which a South African court ruled hate speech and incitement to murder. Members of the AWB celebrated the verdict by hanging an effigy of Mahlangu, and later dragged it from the back of a pickup truck.
According to the UK Guardian, Terre’Blanche’s widow Martie said she did not hold any hatred against her husband’s killers.
Although she still “died 10 deaths” when she drove past his farm in Ventersdorp, Mrs. Terre’Blanche told a social worker involved with the case that “I want to reclaim my perspective on life, this court case has been a huge setback. I do not hate the accused, and I’m not bitter … they crushed me and they murdered my husband in the most barbaric way.”
Mahlangu’s lawyers told the SABC they would appeal the sentence.