Boeremag accused loses bail bid

2012-07-16 19:50
Mnr. Cobus Pretorius in 2003 tydens 'n hofverskyning van die Boeremaglede. FOTO: Christiaan Kotze

Mnr. Cobus Pretorius in 2003 tydens 'n hofverskyning van die Boeremaglede. FOTO: Christiaan Kotze

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pretoria - The Boeremag's 73-year-old chaplain lost his third attempt to secure bail in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Monday.

Judge Niel Tuchten dismissed the bail application of Gerhardus "Oom Vis" Visagie on the grounds that he had tried to escape before and might abscond.

Visagie is one of 20 accused facing 40 charges ranging from high treason to sabotage and murder.

The charges arise from an alleged right-wing plot to violently overthrow the African National Congress government.

Judge Eben Jordaan will hand down judgment in the trial - one of South Africa's lengthiest - next Monday.

It is anticipated that he could take up to three weeks to deliver an abridged version of the judgment.

Visagie underwent heart bypass surgery, following an escape attempt by five of the treason trial accused at the North Gauteng High Court in May last year.

He applied for bail for a third time before undergoing spinal surgery this week.

Judge Tuchten ruled that Visagie would not have to remain in leg irons, handcuffs and a belly-chain while recuperating from surgery if his surgeon advised against it.

He would remain under police guard while in hospital at a step-down facility for the next few months.

His guards would be entitled to remain in the ward with him.

Visagie denied trying to escape and insisted he had sworn off violence, but Tuchten found that he had probably been part of the escape attempt.

Money

It counted heavily against him that he had handed in R1 830 after the escape, which he did not have with him that morning before going to court.

"... The Boeremag is or was a military organisation... with leaders... and followers equivalent to foot soldiers.

"The chaplain in such [an] army or organisation is one of its leaders. One of the defences raised by some of the accused [but not the applicant] at the trial was that they were soldiers, entitled to the protection of the Geneva Conventions," said Tuchten.

"It cannot be disputed that prisoners of war have a duty to try to escape and continue their armed struggle against their perceived enemy.

"I was told that the stated aim of the Boeremag was to detach from the democratic state the territories which formerly constituted the Zuid-Afrikaanse Republiek, the Republic of the Orange Free State and the Republic of Vryheid.

"... I shall assume... that in matters of personal integrity, the appellant is a man of high moral standards, but the present is a case in which the applicant's proper notions of personal integrity might very well yield to the exigencies of the cause he espoused," Tuchten said.

He said movements which, like the Boeremag, sought through violence the destruction of the order they opposed, did not restrict their campaigns to the field of physical battle.

Media

They tried to enlist the media by engaging in conduct which they perceived would reflect well on them and provide dramatic news material.

"Supporters of the Boeremag might well be eager to hide the applicant and to try to persuade him to transmit recorded messages of encouragement for the movement's fighters and of castigation of the perceived enemy," said Tuchten.

"That a man such as the applicant was perceived to be holding the forces of the democratic state at bay or that such a man was recaptured, with all the attendant publicity, might well be perceived by the Boeremag... as likely to generate sympathy... for their movement and their goals," he said.

Tuchten said it was unlikely to have been a coincidence that the escape attempt was made on the date when the previous Republic of South Africa was proclaimed.

- SAPA
Read more on:    boeremag  |  treason
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
54 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Beauty
 

This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!

Find out who and what South Africans were most curious about in 2014!

 
 

I love summer.24

This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem
The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!
LOL treadmill fail!
Google’s top searches of 2014

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be emotionally defensive or reserved today. You need to step up today as there may be extra responsibilities to deal with....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.