Boeremag driven to coup, court hears

2013-02-07 22:21
Deon Loots (Picture: Beeld)

Deon Loots (Picture: Beeld)

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

kalahari.com

Pretoria - The police's crime intelligence unit drove Boeremag members into planning a coup, a retired police spy testified in a treason trial on Thursday.

Former Crime Intelligence Officer Captain Deon Loots testified that the rightwingers had initially planned only to protect themselves against crime.

However, the police's crime intelligence headquarters had been intent on nudging their actions towards a plan to overthrow the government.

Loots was testifying in an application for a special entry on the court record which could eventually be used on appeal, in an application to set aside the convictions of the 20 accused on a charge of high treason.

The convictions arise from a rightwing coup plot to violently overthrow the African National Congress government.

The last of the accused were arrested after a series of bomb explosions, one of which caused the death of Soweto mother Claudia Mokone in 2002.

Loots recruited JC Smit, one of the chief witnesses in the treason trial, as a police informer in 1994 and acted as his handler until the middle of 2000, when he decided to leave the police.

Loots was put on medical pension after being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome.

Smit was a member of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging's Ystergarde (iron guard) and was, at that stage, an accused in a criminal trial in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.

He was one of the men accused of planting car bombs in Johannesburg and at the international airport in Johannesburg in 1994, but was acquitted on all charges in 1996.

He was offered "considerable compensation" for spying on the AWB during the trial and was later tasked with becoming close to certain rightwingers to gather information.

Loots gave Smit instructions and regularly sent reports to police headquarters about the information he gathered.

Different direction

Loots said he finally decided he was done with the police after a confrontation with his commander at the rightwing reactionary desk in 2000.

He told Smit he was no longer with the police and that Smit would be transferred to another handler, but advised him "to get out of the whole story because huge trouble was coming".

"I came in conflict with my commander and the commanders at headquarters," Loots testified.

"They understood that I did not agree with the whole process how the investigation [against the Boeremag] was driven.

"I said it in my reports and I told them many times that according to my information it was a crime self-protection plan and not a coup.

"They saw it in a different light and drove it in a different direction.

"It has been building up since 1998, but the bomb burst in 2000," he said.

Smit was an AWB suspect in the bombings when he was identified as a possible informer.

Loots said he focused on Smit because he was young, thought that "any form of sports" would get him attention, and could be led in any direction.

The information Smit supplied eventually drew the attention of his commanders at headquarters, who realised a new movement was forming and should be investigated.

Loots arranged an "accidental" meeting between Smit and rightwinger "Oom Jan" Viljoen when he became aware that Viljoen was attending and later also addressing meetings about self-protection.

Smit started playing the role of being involved in the commando so he would be seen as credible.

Loots said that, after a while, he and a fellow investigator realised that no one would suddenly start having meetings out of the blue and that someone must have laid the basis for the meetings.

They eventually came across the file of the "Verligte Aksiegroep" (enlightened action group) at headquarters and realised there was a document that was similar to the documents being used at the rightwing meetings.

"I saw that it was a military document dealing with the restoration of law and order through the commandos after 1994.

"The document never talked about a coup," he said.

Judge Eben Jordaan postponed the trial to 25 February, when Loots will resume his evidence.

- SAPA
Read more on:    anc  |  deon loots
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
62 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Get fit on a budget

It’s time to throw the “I can’t afford to exercise” excuse out the window.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Tips for paddling your first Dusi
Climbing the world’s largest stone arch
Awesome extreme sports people
Watch: 2015 Absa Cape Epic route

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. 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 in the mood to philosophize and socialize and expand your mind on various discussions and group activities. You could...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.