SSA man foiled plot

2012-12-22 00:00

THIS is one of the photos a government agent took of weapons he claims alleged far-right militants wanted to use to in a plot to assassinate President Jacob Zuma and other top leaders of the African National Congress.

The alleged conspirators, who were arrested by the police this week and who have been charged with terrorism and treason, also allegedly boasted in cellphone text messages that they already had 54 assault rifles.

Media24 Investigations exclusively obtained the photographs and text messages from a source close to the investigation into the alleged right-wing plot.

The alleged conspiracy, revealed this week, led to unprecedented security measures being taken at the ANC conference in Mangaung this week.

The four rightwingers, Mark Trollip, Johan Prinsloo, Hein Boonzaaier and Martin Keevy, who allegedly wanted to blow up the ANC conference with mortars, appeared in a Bloemfontein court this week.

The state alleges that there was a second plan to shoot Zuma, ministers and other high-ranking ANC members at close range.

Their application to be released on bail has been postponed to January 8.

Meanwhile, it appears that far-rightists had already planned in January to launch a mortar assault on the ANC during its centenary celebration in the Bloemfontein stadium in Mangaung.

But they could not obtain the mortars and moved their planned attack to the ANC conference, which was held this week, the source claimed.

The alleged plans were recently discussed on right-wing websites after an internal dispute between the militants, who accused each other of being government agents.

The investigation into the group’s activities has been conducted by a police task team, the State Security Agency (SSA) and army intelligence.

They used an agent who infiltrated the ranks of the right-wing group.

Over many months, the investigators intercepted several SMS messages, which will now the nucleus of the case against the four suspects.

One of the rightwingers allegedly texted shortly before the start of the conference: “Jis, jy maak my jaloers, wat skiet julle als? (Gee, you are making me jealous, what are all the guns you are shooting with?)”

“LMG, AK, R4, Uzzi, Russian PMK … Daai pel het LMG ens, hy het 54 volle outomatiese gewere (LMG, AK, R4, Uzzi, Russian PMK … our friend has a LMG [light machine gun] etc, he has 54 fully automatic guns),” a rightwinger sent back.

Media24 Investigations has also seen one of the reports which the agent sent to his handlers in the investigative task team.

He said that “bombs have been made as if it was nothing” and that the rightwingers were on the verge of obtaining 120 mm mortars and 155 mm ammunition.

Shortly before the Mangaung conference, Johan Lubbe, who is also a well known rightwinger and arch-enemy of Prinsloo, claimed on a right-wing website that Prinsloo and others had been planning “attacks on the imperial regime (the ANC)” in Bloemfontein.

Prinsloo is a funeral undertaker in Springs, while Boonzaaier is apparently an accountant in Centurion.

Prinsloo claims to be a former policeman attached to the vehicle theft unit.

The state prosecutor, Shaun Abrahams, said during the suspects’ court appearance that there was substantial evidence that they had communicated with each other and planned the terror attacks in Bloemfontein.

The police did not respond to requests for comment.

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