South Africa: Two Blacks Plead Not Guilty in Death of White Supremacist

Posted October 10th, 2011 at 9:15 am (UTC-5)
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Two black South African farm workers have pleaded not guilty to charges of murdering a white supremacist leader.

Eugene Terre’Blanche was found dead at his home in April of last year, beaten and hacked to death with a steel pipe and a machete.

Accused of the murder are Chris Mahlangu, a gardener at Terre’Blanche’s farm, and a 16-year-old who under South African law can not be named. Prosecutors said the motive for the crime was likely unpaid wages.

A lawyer for the minor says his client was verbally, physically and sexually abused.

The suspects entered their pleas Monday as their trial opened in Ventersdorp, the farming community 125 kilometers west of Johannesburg where the killing occurred.

Terre’Blanche was leader of the hardline white supremacist Afrikaner Resistance Movement and a prominent figure during the final years of apartheid .

His killing sparked fears of a return to racial violence in South Africa 17 years after the end of apartheid. Since then, however, tensions have eased.