‘Suspects sought aid from Ku Klux Klan’

2013-01-09 00:00

BLOEMFONTEIN — One of the four rightwingers arrested for allegedly planning to bomb the dining hall at the ANC’s elective conference in Bloemfontein with mortars reportedly met the Ku Klux Klan in the United States, allegedly to solicit financing for “the battle of Mangaung”.

State prosecutor Shaun Abrahams said yesterday Hein Bonzaaier (50) was sent by Johan Prinsloo (49) to the U.S. to meet far-right groups, including the Ku Klux Klan, to get financial backing for the attack.

Boonzaaier, Mark Trollip (49), John Martin Keevy (47) and Prinsloo yesterday applied for bail in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court after they had spent Christmas and New Year behind bars.

They appeared on charges of treason and conspiring to commit acts of terror.

The four allegedly planned to fire mortars at the hall in which VIPs were dining during the ANC conference at the Bloemfontein campus of the University of Free State in December.

Advocate Nico Dreyer, who appeared for Bonzaaier, said his client had been sent to the U.S. to make Americans aware of farm murders.

The four deny they were involved in any way in planning an attack on the ANC during its Mangaung conference.

Abrahams submitted that the four had planned to deploy two battalions comprising several hundred soldiers and to use an array of weapons that included RPG-7 rocket launchers, automatic assault rifles and mortars to assassinate President Jacob Zuma, his ministers and other ANC leaders.

However, they could not gather the weapons in time.

He argued that several e-mails and other messages were exchanged between Keevy and André Visagie, leader of the far-right Geloftevolk Republikeine, which says it supports terror attacks because the ANC government leaves it no other choice.

At several meetings between the four, the message was that they must “prepare for war”.

Trollip’s defence counsel argued that while he definitely did not support the ANC, he was a law-abiding citizen.

Keevy’s defence counsel said he had serious doubts that the state would be able to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.

Prinsloo’s advocate said the accused did not have any explosives or mortars or the training to use them.

Bonzaaier was said to have lost more than 10 kg in the four weeks has has spent in prison since December 16.

He denied any involvement in the so-called “battle of Mangaung”.

Their bail application will continue to be heard on Friday.

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