Boeremag sentencing under way

2013-10-28 13:43
Some of the Boeremag accused at the North Gauteng High Court. (Picture: Beeld)

Some of the Boeremag accused at the North Gauteng High Court. (Picture: Beeld)

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Pretoria – The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria began sentencing on Monday 20 Boeremag members convicted of high treason for a plot to kill former president Nelson Mandela and drive blacks out of the country.

The right wing- organisation had planned a coup in 2002 to overthrow the ANC government.

The trial lasted almost a decade until the Boeremag members were convicted in August last year - the first guilty verdicts for treason since 1994.

"The accused had aimed to overthrow the government through unconstitutional methods that included violence," said high court Judge Eben Jordaan, as he began the two-day sentencing hearing.

"They planned a violent attack against people of colour that would certainly be followed by retaliation attacks against whites as a result," Jordaan said at the hearing taking place in the same Pretoria courtroom where Mandela was convicted of treason in 1964.

One woman died and dozens of people were injured in blasts that shook Soweto in October 2002.

All 20 accused were convicted of treason, but only five of murder and the plot to kill Mandela.

The State is seeking life sentences for the group's leaders and bomb specialists, and 10 to 15 years in prison for the other defendants.

"We are hoping for a good conviction," said Hawks spokesperson Paul Ramoloka.

Security was tight around the courtroom, with police carrying out body searches of the public.

The Boeremag had planned to sow chaos through bomb blasts then take over military bases, replace the government with white military rule and chase all blacks and Indians from the country.

Far-right organisation the Boer Republicans bussed in its members to support the defendants during sentencing.

"I support them 100% because their plan was right," the group's leader Piet Rudolph told AFP.

"Our people are being oppressed, we are servants, and people should revolt against that."

The sentences are expected to be handed down on Tuesday.

Read more on:    boeremag  |  hawks  |  nelson mandela

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