News24

Boeremag accused loses bail bid

2012-07-16 19:50

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.

Comments
  • monde.sibisi - 2012-07-16 19:58

    Let him rot

      michael.deyzel.1 - 2012-07-16 20:46

      Freedom Fighter or Terrorist?

      tw2066 - 2012-07-16 23:10

      Should have let a few people rot, like say, Shabir Shaik or Robert McBride, or ..... aw forget it, one mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter.

      andre.vandeventer.16 - 2012-07-17 08:08

      Blacks who commit atrocious crimes of violence and murders often appear in our courts without chains and/or cuffs. And every now and then they escape to commit the same crimes again. But that seems to be ok?

      merven.halo - 2012-07-17 08:18

      'one mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter.' Not true: a freedom fighter fights against military targets, terrorists (like the ANC members) target public targets like shopping centers and churches.

      rob.baggaley - 2012-07-17 08:23

      I agree. These idiots should never be released. Like it or not we are a democracy even if it is by " majority default " and there was no excuse for this type of boeremag mentality, no matter how bad things are.

      sibusiso.mkoko - 2012-07-17 18:20

      More like, LET HIM DIE!

      SarcasticAgnostic - 2012-07-17 20:22

      Thank you Sibusiso. Your racism is inspirational.

  • chaplinncharlie - 2012-07-16 20:01

    His charges sounds similar to that of once President Nelson Madiba Mandela... To think ol'Tutu said we should act like ol'Madiba

      Bear - 2012-07-16 20:09

      Oh irony... thou art a heartless bitch.

      themba.thwala.98 - 2012-07-16 20:36

      Comparing a lion [Madiba] to a fly :)

      chaplinncharlie - 2012-07-16 21:07

      No Kolobe if you know your history you would actually agree...not that i'm saying it's right which either has done... Don't you see the irony in THIS??? Small mind...

      merven.halo - 2012-07-17 08:19

      Your madiba is a bomb planting terrorist.

  • Hermann - 2012-07-16 20:04

    Hou hom in die hok waar ape hoort.

      LouisBok - 2012-07-16 22:20

      So hermina-jy sien die ape. Daar is baie ne? Pasop!

      jack.oosthuysen - 2012-07-16 22:22

      Alvin, jou spelling is nog steeds te goed. hy kry nie die boodskap nie.

  • paul.lotter - 2012-07-16 20:13

    haha didnt even know this took place... wannabe big time game players

      jack.oosthuysen - 2012-07-16 22:43

      Cape Towns finest.

  • teddy.beer.319 - 2012-07-16 20:18

    Its upsetting to see that there are some simpletons in our midst who support these sick people. These people who tread on the extreme right are not any better than Nazi operatives whose minds have been clouded by ignorance and hatred. When black people call for extreme measures, we roundly condemn them. When some half-brained whites like the these are involved in extreme cases like these, we see an outpouring of sympathy from the white community. It doesn't require one to go to school to see who is fooling who here. Ultimately, the peaceful co-existence we all cherish can not be expected to be fostered by one group. It has to involve all of us. Stop supporting these stupid people.

      alansmartSnr - 2012-07-16 22:17

      ..@ teddy.beer.319 I understand your view point but you are not comparing apples with apples. When you become subserviant to a unfair or disfunctional power who threaten to disown you of your property, self respect and various dictorial rules and even your life (farm murders) it is one of options to band together and try to liberate yourself. The ANC did this under worse conditions and succeeded. Think of the French, Dutch, Polish resistance during WW2. They sacrificed a lot but had a huge part in the success of bring the 3rd Reich down. I am not saying these Boeremag guys are right but I can understand their frustration in constantly having to expect attacks with the government seemingly turning a blind eye to the atrosities aimed at them. These people are neither sick nor simpletons. On the contrary, there exist a highly trained ex-military amount of "soldiers", perhaps a bit older but if organised, could turn out to be a deadly and dangerous force. I want to state very clearly that I do not aggree with their aims or ambitions but I can understand the "thumbs down" to some of the comments made here. Just did not like you calling them simpletons and sick. I was an officer in the pre 1994 era and know too well how dangerous they could be if push came to shove, but it will never come to that, they are just a small band of worried people - for what their future holds for them and their families.

      tw2066 - 2012-07-16 23:15

      Consider ANC cadre, Andrew Zondo - murderer, Rober Mc Bride - murderer, and yet the party that stand for - the ANC - musters 63% of the popular support? Alot more simpletons than you may think? As for peaceful existence, lets be honest, it hasnt happened in Africa yet, or Europe or America or the Middle east.

  • jerry.medina.756 - 2012-07-16 20:35

    Oh what an upright judge.I agree with death penalty in some regards. This filth doesn't deserve to live.

      SarcasticAgnostic - 2012-07-17 10:17

      They said the same thing about madiba during apartheid. It was wrong back then, it is still wrong now.

  • Siyabonga Mkhwanazi - 2012-07-16 21:23

    At 73 years old, what were you thinking!? I thought the more you age the wiser you become.

      LouisBok - 2012-07-16 22:14

      Tell that to mugabe

      merven.halo - 2012-07-17 08:20

      What bad reporting, when did this happen? N24 reporters must get some training.

  • zimbobwe.mugabe - 2012-07-16 21:33

    I actually feel sorry for this guys. They really thinking they are fighting for a good cause and it's a pity and heartbreaking that they find themselves in this situation. I don't understand their mentality. The most far rightwinger Eugene Terreblanche didn't take this route because he knew there will always be one loser.

      abdol.goebels - 2012-07-17 11:01

      ET was a 'lefty'

  • sean.kedian - 2012-07-16 22:03

    alema declared war on the whites. The government,by their unwillingness to act on the murders of whites and farmers,have declared themselves enemies of the whites. We are therefore in a de facto war situation. The Boeremag may have been misguided in their actions,but there loyalty was not in question. They stood up to be counted as opposers of government sponsored terror.M

  • tommo.too - 2012-07-17 00:03

    High treason and murder. Hierdie domenie is definitely on the wrong track!!!!

  • xoli.xuma - 2012-07-17 09:13

    Jail the "Boeremag accused", they are terrorists,

      SarcasticAgnostic - 2012-07-17 10:27

      ... And then, after 27 years, release them, and throw a massive party. Oh wait, that was for a freedom fighter. Sorry my mistake. Freedom fighters and terrorists are so similar, I sometimes confuse them.

      SarcasticAgnostic - 2012-07-17 20:25

      I said freedom fighters and terrorists are similar. They both use violence to advance their agenda, whatever it my be.

  • Nyiks11 - 2012-07-17 09:48

    Surely after undergoing a heart bypass he can be afforded the same treatment as Jackie Selebi ,or parole on medical grounds like Shabie Shaik and Co . . ..no double standards please regardless of the crime committed

      xoli.xuma - 2012-07-17 11:07

      cases are not the same, please do not compare them, they were attempting mass murder while shaik was for corruption.

      Nyiks11 - 2012-07-17 11:24

      Criminal cases may not be the same but the grounds for the medical parole may be similar , I agree that the corrrective punishment should be proportionate to the crime committed but then remember that some forms of corruption lead to negligence which leads to deaths of innocent people = murder

  • abdol.goebels - 2012-07-17 10:52

    "Visagie is one of 20 accused facing 40 charges ranging from high treason to sabotage and murder." Set these people free. Or accept them as political prisoners. Nelson is a terrorist and you see him as a icon???? What strange world we live in?

      ricky.hammer.92 - 2012-07-17 12:58

      This case is now 10 years old. Where is the right to speedy trial. This should be thrown out of the courts and these brave freedom fighters released.

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