Writer 'in love' after meeting neo-Nazi leader

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The Independent Online
A HIGH COURT jury was invited to peer through a keyhole in a foot-square door section yesterday by the counsel for Jani Allan, the South African journalist who is suing Channel 4 over a film which she claims portrayed her as a 'lady of easy virtue'.

Charles Gray QC proposed that Linda Shaw, Miss Allan's former flatmate, also 'look through the keyhole and see how much was visible'. Miss Shaw has claimed she saw Miss Allan having sex with Eugene Terre- Blanche, the neo-Nazi leader, in the presence of two bodyguards, in July 1988 when she looked through the keyhole of Miss Allan's bedroom door.

The jury was asked to leave the court so Mr Justice Potts could hear arguments from opposing counsel. When it returned the proposed peek did not take place.

Miss Allan, 40, of Hampton Court, Surrey, is suing Channel 4 over the film The Leader, His Driver and the Driver's Wife, which she says portrayed her as a 'lady of easy virtue' who slept with Mr Terre-Blanche.

Channel 4 denies it suggested an affair, but argues that such an allegation would have been justified because Miss Allan did have an affair with Mr Terre-Blanche, who is married with a daughter.

On the ninth day of the hearing, Miss Shaw, 37, told the court that the keyhole incident was the 'major reason' for her leaving the Johannesburg flat she shared with Miss Allan. She claimed a man from the neo-Nazi AWB party had woken her in her bedroom the same night saying that Miss Allan had sent him there because Miss Shaw would have sex with him.

Miss Shaw denied she had ever said Miss Allan was a 'frigid bitch' and it would be a 'scream' to have her 'nailed for gang-banging Nazis'.

Martin Kahanovitz, Miss Shaw's former boyfriend, said he had been at Miss Allan's flat with Miss Shaw in January 1988 when Miss Allan, once a star writer for the Sunday Times of South Africa, returned from an interview with Mr Terre-Blanche. He said he had never seen her in such an emotional state.

'Jani came walking into the bedroom with a tape recorder. She was very excited. She kept saying, 'I am in love, I am in love. What a man. . . I am going to marry him'.'

Mr Kahanovitz, a Jewish businessman, said he did not take Miss Allan seriously at the time. 'I could not believe she would be in love with that type of man after being married to a Jewish man.'

Later he put Miss Allan up in his house for a month on condition that Mr Terre-Blanche and the AWB never visited or telephoned. But on the day Miss Allan moved out, six to ten AWB men with revolvers turned up to move her furniture.

Mr Kahanovitz said he was terrified but tried to 'keep cool'. He had visitors and one mentioned Israel. One of the AWB men said: 'Fucking Jews.' Miss Allan stormed out of the living room and Miss Shaw went berserk at her.

Earlier, Miss Shaw told of an episode in which she and Miss Allan met a young man sobbing in a wine bar. He told them his wife had died in childbirth and that she had played piano inthat bar. They took pity on him and took him on the town until 6am. They then saw him every day for two weeks. Eventually he confessed that he had made up the story and was actually an agent sent to find out if Miss Allan's association with Mr Terre-Blanche was political or sexual.

Miss Shaw said Miss Allan was 'a completely unique human being'. She said that when she spoke to Channel 4 lawyers, she never thought the case would come to court. Looking at Miss Allan, she said: 'I think watching the annilihation and degradation of a woman who was truly remarkable has been one of the most terrible things I have had to witness.'

The hearing continues today.

(Photograph omitted)