Rightist plot to bomb churches

2011-11-26 00:00

THREE alleged right-wingers with occult leanings were arrested in Limpopo yesterday. They reportedly planned to blow up Sunday services in Reformed and Dutch Reformed churches in Mookgophong (Naboomspruit) and Mokopane (Potgietersrus).

This was the confession that one of the arrested men (30) reportedly made to police. It is not known when the attacks were planned. The three white men were arrested at a training centre for security guards outside Mookgophong when police responded to a call from the camp after the men, who had been “chased away” from the camp last week, had returned and set fire to tents in which the recruits lived.

Police found the men had pamphlets with pentagrams and the name “Lucifer” on them. The pamphlets also contained information on satanic rituals. Their cellphones contained photos of different churches in Mokopane and Mookgophong.

The police confiscated several home-made weapons, including swords, iron-tipped batons, modified crash helmets and bullet-proof jackets. At the camp police found explosives, detonators and camouflaged clothing, with instructions on how to make bombs.

Head of communication for the police in Limpopo, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi, said yesterday the amrs cache find has sparked an investigation into right-wing training camps nationwide.

“We suspect they wanted to commit several terrorist acts. The police crime intelligence unit will also question members of groups in other parts of the country,” he said. He did not want to say in which parts of South Africa suspects will be questioned.

Mulaudzi said one of the men said under questioning that “only white people must stay in South Africa”. One of the aims of the training camps is to give white farmers protection against attacks.

The other two men are 48 and 50 years old. The older man is a former member of Koevoet, the elite anti-terrorist police unit in the 1980s.

The owner of the farm in the Boekenhout area outside Mookgophong is a man from Springs who will also be questioned.

The training camp started some eight months ago. The security guards trained there were deployed to farms across SA. Trainees sleep in tents and caravans while accommodation is being built. Trainees from the East Rand and Rustenburg in North West attended the courses.

Mulaudzi said the three men in custody were chased away from the training camp on Saturday last week.

They arrived back at the camp early yesterday morning, allegedly drunk. After fighting with the seven men currently living at the camp they set fire to two tents. No one was injured in the fire.

At the time of going to print, no names had been released.The three men are in police detention and will appear in the Mookgophong Magistrate’s Court on charges of arson and possession of dangerous weapons. The police expect to make further arrests.

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