Boeremag conspiracy

2012-10-13 00:00

A CONTROVERSIAL police general headed the crime intelligence unit’s “dirty tricks” campaign to plant evidence and evesdrop on the Boeremag treason accused and their lawyers, a former officer claimed in sworn statement.

The statement claimed General Mark Hankel specially flew to the United States to purchase the bugging devices which were used to unlawfully monitor the conversations between the accused and their legal teams.

The revelations of Deon Loots, a former captain in the crime intelligence unit, about the alleged police conspiracy to frame the Boeremag plotters, were first broken in Rapport last week.

But Loots’ affidavit — which he has confirmed — goes further and names individual officers whom he charges are at the centre of the conspiracy.

His statements are separately supported by other affidavits by former officers which are in the possession of a Pretoria attorney. If his claims are true, it could lead to the Boeremag trial — the longest, at nine years, in South African history and which cost more than R100 million — being declared a mistrial.

Loots, who made his statement in August, has investigated the Boeremag for years and was also the handler of the main agent who infiltrated the organisation.

Constitutional expert Professor Pierre de Vos said Loots’s allegations could result in the trial being declared null and void and having to be heard from scratch again.

Twenty Boeremag members were found guilty of high treason in July and August. The trial will re-commence in January next year when they could be sentenced to life behind bars.

“The Boeremag was driven, managed, orchestrated and all the planning had been done by these [crime intelligence] members,” said Loots. Loots said evidence had been fabricated by crime intelligence in order to “make things look much worse”.

SAPS national spokesperson Colonel Tummi Shai undertook to respond to the allegations, but at the time of going to press she had not responded.

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