Boeremag treason tally at nine

2012-08-02 14:45
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Pretoria - The conviction of two former SA National Defence Force majors and a Free State salesman on Thursday bring to nine the number of Boeremag accused convicted of high treason.

Judge Eben Jordaan ruled that Jacques Olivier, Pieter van Deventer and Fritz Naude had all been part of a rightwing coup plan to violently overthrow the government.

Olivier was a major at the Lohatlha military base and Van Deventer was a legal officer at the Bloemfontein military base in 2001 when they became involved in the conspiracy.

Naude, a farming implement salesman from Bethlehem, was not in court to hear his fate as he is still recuperating after suffering a stroke.

The judge said Olivier and Van Deventer had sworn allegiance to the Republic as military officers, and their failure to report the coup plot made them guilty of high treason.

'Take back the country'

Olivier and Van Deventer had both attended a meeting early in 2001 at which the idea of a coup "to take back the country" and "chase out blacks" was discussed.

Olivier had supplied information about the Lohatlha military base to the Boeremag leadership to further the coup plan and took part in discussions about taking over military bases.

A meeting, at which his senior officer Colonel Magiel Burger was drawn into the coup plan, was also held at his house.

Olivier was tasked with getting the keys to the weapons safe at Lohatlha from Burger as part of the coup plan.

Jordaan rejected Olivier's claims that brothers Mike and Andre du Toit had discussed only self-protection with Burger during the meeting at his house.

Van Deventer had shared his knowledge about combat vehicles with top members of the Boeremag, and attended meetings at which the planned coup and an attack on the government were discussed.

He also sent information about the number of combat vehicles at the Bloemfontein military base to police agent J C Smit.

Traitors would be shot

He was placed in charge of a combat unit that was supposed to take over the Lohatlha and Bloemfontein military bases and was regarded as a trusted member of the Boeremag.

Naude not only attended various meetings at which the coup was discussed, but also provided a list with names of possible recruits for the organisation.

He arranged some of the meetings on behalf of Tom Vorster, who took over from Mike du Toit as leader of the Boeremag early in 2002.

At one of the meetings, Naude was appointed as "chief justice" of the Boeremag's military court in his absence.

His name also featured as a military commander in Mike du Toit's war plan, known as Document 12.

Naude was one of the Boeremag leaders who in 2002 swore an oath of allegiance to the Boeremag and received a bullet as a symbol that traitors would be shot.

He had chosen the code name "KGB" for himself at that meeting, in a potato shed on a Free State farm.

His code name appeared on a war booklet and other incriminating evidence he later handed to fellow conspirator Henk van Zyl to destroy.

Van Zyl, who became a State witness, hid the documents and later handed them to the police.

Oath of allegiance

Jordaan said it was clear that Naude had taken his membership of the Boeremag seriously, as he had read an oath of allegiance for combat soldiers out of his war booklet when he swore in two new Boeremag members on a farm in the winter of 2002.

One of the new "members", a mechanic who was on the farm that day by chance, testified that Naude had made him stand with his hand on his heart while he was sworn in and then, to his surprise, congratulated him on becoming a member of the Boeremag.

Naude had visited his workplace several times thereafter, but he had wanted nothing more to do with the business.

The judge rejected Naude's claims that he knew nothing about a coup, had never sworn in anyone and that the State witnesses had fabricated their evidence.

The trial was postponed early after Vorster's advocate objected to judgment continuing in his absence.

Vorster was not in court on Thursday today after apparently drinking pills which "upset his stomach".

The State objected to the postponement, but Jordaan said "no children would fall off the bed" if they lost two hours.

Judgment will continue on Friday.
Read more on:    boeremag

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