Judgment underway in Boeremag trial

2012-07-23 15:44
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)

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Pretoria - Judgment finally got underway on Monday morning in the Boeremag treason trial, more than nine years after the trial commenced in the North Gauteng High Court.

Only 18 of the 22 accused were present in court when Judge Eben Jordaan started the arduous task of summing up the record of the evidence, which alone comprises over 50 000 pages.

Alleged Boeremag chaplain "Oom Vis" Visagie, who underwent spinal surgery last week, and Fritz Naude, who earlier had a stroke, were not in court.

Several of the accused are still constrained with leg irons and belly chains after an escape attempt last year.

The accused face charges of high treason, murder and attempted murder as well as alternative charges ranging from sabotage and terrorism to manufacturing explosives and the illegal possession of firearms.

Bomb blast

The charges relate to an alleged right wing coup plot to violently overthrow the ANC government, chase all black people out of the country and establish a "Boer Republic".

The murder charge relates to a bomb explosion at a railway line in Soweto in which a metal bar flew 400m through the air and landed on a shack, instantly killing a woman sleeping inside.

The attempted murder charge stems from a plan to murder former president Nelson Mandela.

The State has asked for the conviction of all of the accused of treason, but the majority of the accused claimed they did not have a fair trial and that their rights were violated by correctional services and the Legal Aid Board.

Some of them also argued that they should be regarded as prisoners of war as they were soldiers engaged in a legitimate armed struggle for self-determination.

Judge Jordaan however found that the accused were not soldiers involved in an armed struggle against a racist regime, as they claimed, and were not entitled to be regarded as prisoners of war.

Detailed war plan

He said blowing up targets where the "enemy" was not aware of a declaration of war could not objectively be regarded as waging war.

The judge commenced his judgment by referring to several documents, including a detailed war plan known as "Document 12", on which most of the charges are based.

The plan envisaged a sort of Boer "Utopia" in which there would be no murders, value added tax or debts.

It also envisaged the appointment of a new military government without the complication of democratic elections.

The plan envisaged making the country ungovernable by bombing strategic targets.

Later versions escalated into launching revenge attacks, attacking black townships and "eliminating" whites who opposed their plan.

Security was particularly tight at the court and all members of the public and a large media contingent who attended the trial had to go through metal detectors before entering the court.

Judgment continues.

- SAPA

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