Boeremag 'general' can't plead ignorance

2012-08-08 17:04
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Pretoria - The Boeremag's "military commander" Dirk Hanekom knew very well the right-wing organisation was going to war and could not plead ignorance, the treason trial judge ruled on Wednesday.

Judge Eben Jordaan continued reading the summary of his judgment against Hanekom on Wednesday, but would reach a conclusion only on Monday.

He had already convicted 10 of the 20 Boeremag accused on a charge of treason arising from a right-wing plot to violently overthrow the government.

The court rejected Hanekom's claim that he "didn't have a clue what was going on" when a group of Boeremag members embarked on a "D-Day" mission on September 13 2002, aimed at planting bombs to create chaos in the country.

Several witnesses testified Hanekom was standing next to Boeremag leader Tom Vorster when he said there was no turning back and he would detonate the first bomb to show his dedication to the cause.

Vorster's plan was to move to Potchefstroom to take over the military base there after causing chaos by detonating car bombs at various locations in Gauteng. The mission had to be abandoned when the police received information about it.

Hanekom gave different versions of what had happened.

He said he had stopped the mission because it was "disorganised" and not because he had received a message that the police knew of the plans. He further said D-Day had merely been an exercise to see how prepared the Boers were to defend themselves in case of a large-scale, black-on-white attack.

One witness testified he was told to address Hanekom as "general". Hanekom admitted receiving a rank from Vorster, but denied ever being addressed as general.

Jordaan said Hanekom was Vorster's second-in-command and had helped draft the Boeremag's declaration of war on the government and call-up instructions to civilian force members.

He knew well they were going to war and knew much more than he would let on, the judge said. He also rejected Hanekom's claims that he had not been aware of cars being hired for car bombs.

Judgment continues.

- SAPA
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