Four more Boeremag bombers convicted

2012-08-16 18:23
Two of the 22 Boeremag treason trial accused are seen in the North Gauteng High Court where judgment finally commenced. (Sapa)

Two of the 22 Boeremag treason trial accused are seen in the North Gauteng High Court where judgment finally commenced. (Sapa)

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

Pretoria - Four more Boeremag bombers were convicted of high treason by the North Gauteng High Court on Thursday, bringing to 19 the number of convicted members of the organisation.

Judge Eben Jordaan is expected to conclude judgment next week, nine years after the trial began.

Mokopane doctor Johan Pretorius, his brother Wilhelm, Bela Bela farming assistant Rudi Gouws, and Pretoria computer programmer Jacques Jordaan were found guilty on Thursday.

The remaining accused, herb farmer Kobus Pretorius, would hear his fate on Monday.

On Friday, Jordaan was expected to deliver a separate ruling on charges of murder and attempted murder. The latter stems from a failed attempt to kill then president Nelson Mandela with a home-made landmine near Bolobedu, Limpopo, on 11 October 2002.

Herman van Rooyen, and Johan and Wilhelm Pretorius planted the bomb on the road they hoped Mandela would use on his way to open a school in Bolobedu. Mandela arrived by helicopter instead.

The judge ruled the three, along with Kobus Pretorius and State witness Deon Crous, had all planned to murder Mandela.

War diary

The "war diary" of Wilhelm Pretorius was used as evidence in the trial. It contained a detailed plan to murder Mandela and create civil unrest and start a race war in South Africa, in preparation for a rightwing coup.

The six were also involved in a series of bomb blasts in Soweto late in October 2002. The murder charge stems from the death of Claudia Mokone. She was killed in Soweto on 29 October 2002 when a piece of railway line, dislodged by a Boeremag bomb, landed in her shack, and struck her on the head.

Dr Johan Pretorius was Boeremag leader Tom Vorster's right-hand man.

He was directly involved in attempts to plant bombs at the police air wing at Grand Central Airport, at a bridge in Port Edward, a mosque in Soweto, and at a Buddhist temple in Bronkhorstspruit.

Wilhelm, a theology student, was the Boeremag's "computer man" who helped plan and execute the bombings. He created false drivers and firearm licences on his computer.

Prisoners of war

Jordaan rejected the brothers' application to be declared prisoners of war.

Both claimed they were soldiers of the South African Boer Republic engaged in a legitimate war against the ANC government aimed at establishing an independent Boer state.

Jordaan ruled they were not fighting for the freedom of the Boer nation, but coup plotters.

Herman van Rooyen and Rudi Gouws were part of a small band of Boeremag members who continued with the plot to overthrow the government after the Boeremag leaders, including Dr Lets Pretorius, were arrested.

Even after some of their photos were published as wanted men following the first series of bomb explosions, they continued planning further terrorist acts. They set up an "explosives factory" at a farm in Limpopo, where over 1.5 tons of explosives were produced.

They were about to assemble five powerful car bombs when they were arrested in December 2002. Their intended targets included Marabastad outside Pretoria, and a taxi rank in the Pretoria city centre.

Jordaan rejected the evidence of Jacques Jordaan, who joined the Boeremag only a few days before his arrest, that he had not been aware of the coup plot.

The young computer programmer claimed he was "on a holiday" with the others, but the judge said photos of the farm clearly showed it was used as an explosives factory, not a holiday farm. Police found a gun and hand grenades in Jordaan's bed.
Read more on:    boeremag

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.

Behind the sparkle

Alluring, beautiful and timeless - diamonds are some of the most sought after gems in the world and are a true testament of everlasting brilliance. Let us take you behind the sparkle to show you the history behind this coveted jewel.


Fascinating facts about dogs

Think you know a lot about dogs? How many of these facts do you know?



Perfectly captured cat snapchats!
Fascinating facts about dogs
Out with the old dog, in with the new
Play with your pet when you're not at home
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


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.