Bomb maker 'never thought of injuries'

2013-01-31 22:24
Kobus Pretorius (Picture: Beeld)

Kobus Pretorius (Picture: Beeld)

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

Pretoria - Boeremag master bomb maker Kobus Pretorius never thought he could injure or kill people with his bombs, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria heard on Wednesday.

This claim came from Pretorius himself in response to a question by Judge Eben Jordaan.

Jordaan said a bomb was something that caused massive damage and asked how it was possible for Pretorius to think no one could be injured.

Pretorius answered that their targets were not among civilians and were removed from buildings and people.

He therefore never foresaw that anyone could be killed or injured, he said.

Jordaan asked Pretorius what he thought when he heard a woman (Soweto mother Claudia Mokone) had been killed in one of the bomb blasts.

"I said it was the 'blind sjambok'. It was an act of God because she must have committed sins, and that's why God had punished her.

"That's the way I thought at the time," he said.

Pretorius admitted that even Mokone's death did not bring him and the other bomb squad members to the realisation that their deeds were wrong.

Bombs worked

He said it was possible that they may have laughed after hearing on the radio that the bombs had exploded.

"It was the first time I realised that the bombs actually worked. I also did not realise how powerful they were," he said.

"The excitement was not about the woman's death but about the bomb that went off."

Jordaan said they had realised the railway lines would be damaged and wanted to know if Pretorius did not think anyone would be injured if a passenger train derailed.

He replied that he "had heard" there were sensors on the railway line which would have stopped the trains.

According to Pretorius he had signed a statement forming part of his application to be declared a prisoner of war as "Kommandant" (Commander) Pretorius on legal advice, even though he felt "uncomfortable" about it.

He claimed he already had a change of heart by then, but had gone along because it was a legal strategy that could have seen him gaining his freedom.

"From the first day in jail I did not like it and would have grabbed at anything to get out of jail.

"It is logical for anyone who has been in jail.

"If I could start the whole trial over today I would probably have reached a plea bargain agreement with the state immediately, which would have been the best course for me," he said.

"Through all the hell that I went through I have thankfully now reached a point where I realised what I did was wrong," he said.

Trusting

Prosecutor Pieter Luyt put it to Pretorius that he trimmed his sails to the wind when it suited him.

Luyt said Pretorius' declarations of remorse and apologies were the "death throes" of his realisation that he was in big trouble.

Pretorius said his public apology was the result of conversations with (black) warders at the prison.

He had asked their forgiveness and then realised that he could also publicly apologise to the people he had harmed, so that they could deal with their own pain.

Dr Elsabe Swanepoel, an educational and counselling psychologist, testified that Pretorius' relationship with officials at prison had changed a lot over the past 18 months.

Because they were the only people he could talk to, he discussed his problems and experiences with "the clan" (his family) with them and developed a trusting relationship and friendship with some of them.

"He learnt a lot about black people and feels comfortable with them," she said.

Swanepoel was of the opinion that Pretorius was a very impressionable person, who was easily influenced and persuaded by others.

She said he could still be dependent on the acceptance of others, but her impression was that he had developed his ability for critical thinking and now had the courage to assert his own beliefs against those of his family.

The trial will continue on Monday next week.

- SAPA
Read more on:    kobus pretorius
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
67 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Five wrapping hacks you have to know before Christmas

Five gift wrapping hacks that will save Christmas for you!

 
 

I love summer.24

Sexiest Instagrams of 2014
Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!
Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

HOUSES FOR SALE IN Durbanville

Houses R 2 400 000

HOUSES FOR SALE IN Paarl

Houses R 1 900 000

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. While stocks last. Shop 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

The energy today is serious, materialistic and hardworking. You may find you get a new outlook on things and you may want to spend...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.