Boeremag arms cache found

2014-02-02 19:06
Boeremag leader Tom Vorster (Themba Hadebe, AP)

Boeremag leader Tom Vorster (Themba Hadebe, AP)

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Johannesburg - An arms cache belonging to the Boeremag has been found, the Hawks said on Sunday.

"Information relating to this arms cache was revealed during the latter part of the trial in the North Gauteng High Court," said Captain Paul Ramaloko.

"An intensive intelligence-driven investigation, which continued for a few months, bore fruit last week on Thursday, 30 January 2014, when the team found the firearms."

The firearms were found on a farm in Middelburg, Mpumalanga.

"No arrest has been made as the farm, where the discovery was made, has no residential building, except a house which is used for overnight hiking facilities," said Ramaloko.

"Herman Van Rooyen and Rudi Gouws, who are members of the bomb squad, allegedly hid the firearms during their first escape in 2005."

The investigation continued.

On October 29 last year, the High Court in Pretoria handed down sentences ranging from five to 30 years' imprisonment on the group's members.

Boeremag leader Tom Vorster and some members of its "bomb squad" which blew up numerous targets in 2002 were sentenced to in effect 25 years' imprisonment.

Bombers Van Rooyen, Johan and Wilhelm Pretorius, and Gouws received the same sentences as Vorster.

The third Pretorius brother, master bomb maker Kobus Pretorius, was sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment, of which 10 were suspended.

This was because Pretorius had a change of heart during the trial and expressed remorse for what he did.

The members of the bomb squad were sentenced to an additional 13 years' imprisonment on charges of culpable homicide and conspiring to murder former president Nelson Mandela.

Soweto mother Claudia Mokone was killed when a piece of steel dislodged by a bomb the Boeremag planted on a railway line landed in her shack.

Boeremag leaders Mike du Toit, Dirk Hanekom and the Pretorius brothers' father, Dr Lets Pretorius, were each sentenced to 30 years' imprisonment, of which 10 years were conditionally suspended for five years.

Mike du Toit's right-hand man, Andre du Toit, and Dion van den Heever, were sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment of which 10 were suspended.

Rooikoos du Plessis and Jurie Vermeulen, who also played important roles in planning the coup, got 15 years' imprisonment, of which 10 were suspended.

One of the Boeremag's most active members and the Boeremag chaplain, 74-year-old Vis Visagie, was sentenced to five years of correctional supervision.

Five of the Boeremag members who played a lesser role, including the youngest member Jacques Jordaan, walked out of the court free men after being given suspended sentences.

They are Adriaan van Wyk and former defence force officers Giel Burger, Jacques Olivier, and Pieter van Deventer.

- SAPA

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