Rightists 'training teen boys'

2008-12-08 00:00

PRETORIA — The police National Crime Intelligence Unit is investigating the possibility that a rightwing group is kidnapping children and training them on farms to fight in a war against blacks.

One person has already been arrested on a charge of kidnapping.

National police spokesman Superintendent Thembi Nkwashu said yesterday police are investigating the allegations, adding that the case is “very sensitive” and that he is not authorised to speak to the media about it.

The national police authorities have also instructed the Silverton, Pretoria, police station, which is involved in the investigation, not to speak to the media.

A source who spoke to Beeld newspaper said the abducted children are being taught to make bombs and use hand grenades.

Children as young as 13 and from as far away as Upington have allegedly been held on a farm in the Naboomspruit area to be trained as soldiers.

Information about the activities came to light after a 15-year-old was kidnapped from his parents’ house last Thursday and taken to the farm.

There he apparently learned how to make a bomb and how to use firearms.

The boy’s identity and those of his parents may not be revealed.

The source told Beeld: “The boy’s abductors lured him with the promise of an army uniform and the promise that he could become a good soldier.

“His mother laid a charge of kidnapping at the Silverton police station on Thursday. The boy was dropped off at his parents’ home on Sunday evening, and his kidnappers raced off. However, the police were waiting for them and gave chase.

“A suspect was arrested and police seized documents connected with the alleged training of young boys.”

The source said the family have been placed under police protection.

The National Crime Intelligence Unit was due yesterday to question another Silverton boy, who has allegedly been involved with the group for the last five years.

The source said the first boy apparently told police how to make a bomb, to convince them he was telling the truth. The police refused to confirm this.

Beeld visited the family yesterday, but the boy’s mother said they do not want to speak to the media.

There were police at the house taking a statement.

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