Boeremag prison privileges withdrawn

2011-06-01 10:43

Security was stepped up at the Palace of Justice in Pretoria today after a foiled escape attempt by five of the 20 Boeremag treason trialists, police said.

Spokesperson Brigadier Sally de Beer said the accused’s “privileges” had been withdrawn, including being able to have contact with their families and to receive food parcels from family and friends.

Strict limitations had also been put in place on what those attending court could take into the court.

De Beer would not elaborate on the increased security.

“Obviously, I can’t go into too much detail, but these are just some of the measures,” she said.

Yesterday, one of the accused, Herman van Rooyen, broke a glass door at the court exit, sprayed ammonia into a security guard’s eyes and ran into the street.

He was caught within minutes by the police.

Another accused, Tom Vorster, physically attacked a police officer, but she hit back and brought him under control.

Another three of the accused were caught inside the court before they could escape.

Four police officers and a security guard had to be taken to hospital after ammonia was sprayed in their eyes.

The ammonia was apparently smuggled into court in nose-spray bottles.

The trial of the so-called Boeremag members for alleged treason recently entered its eighth year.

The accused face more than 40 charges relating to a right-wing plot to overthrow the government.

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