A black teenage farm worker has been acquitted of murdering Eugene Terreblanche, South Africa’s far-Right leader in a case that has polarised racial groups in the country.
Judge Horn said there was no forensic evidence linking Mr Ndlovu to the scene, despite the fact that Mr Mahlangu was covered in blood spatters. He said that because the teenager, now 18, was also deprived of sleep and proper counsel by police, he would give him the “benefit of the doubt".
His decision provoked the ire of Mr Terreblanche’s family and supporters.
Andre Nienaber, Mr Terreblanche’s nephew, said they were “disappointed” by the judge’s decision not to convict both men.
“He was with the older one the whole time so I cannot believe he was not involved,” he said. “There were two murder weapons so there must have been two murderers.”
Mr Nienaber said that the fight for a separate nation for Afrikaners would continue despite Mr Terreblanche’s death. He warned of potential violent protests at the murders of white farmers which have claimed more than 3,000 lives since the advent of democracy in South Africa in 1994.
“There will be repercussions for sure – some people feel much more strongly about this than us so we will see what happens,” he said.
“What’s sure is that this has not left us leaderless. We have leaders and this is not the end. Our battle will stop when our coffins are in the ground.”
Mr Mahlangu spoke briefly to reporters afterwards to say that there was little difference between prison and the conditions he had been living in on the farm, but that he was “sorry” for killing Mr Terreblanche. The court heard previously that Mr Terreblanche paid the two men less than the minimum wage and sometimes replaced their wages with alcohol.
Mr Mahlangu will be sentenced on June 18, along with Mr Ndlovu, who was convicted of a minor charge of housebreaking with intent to steal at Mr Terreblanche’s farm.