Police informant had money woes, court hears

2014-02-06 22:22
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Bloemfontein - A police informant who infiltrated a rightwing group denied doing so for the money, the Free State High Court heard on Thursday.

State witness Jaco Scherman was testifying in the treason trial of Johan Prinsloo, alleged to be part of the Mangaung plotters.

The rightwing group stands accused of planning to attack delegates at the African National Congress's national elective conference in December 2012.

Scherman told the court his business was in financial trouble and he got paid for every report he wrote for his handler. He said he did not get a lot of money but the more incriminating the report, the more money he would get.

However, he said he did not infiltrate the group for the money, but because he believed in right and wrong.

Scherman was being cross-examined by Johann Nel, for Prinsloo. Prinsloo faces charges of treason, conspiracy to take part in terrorist acts, and possession of illegal ammunition.

He was arrested in December 2012 with Martin Keevy, Mark Trollip and Hein Boonzaaier. Trollip pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy and was sentenced to eight years in prison last year. Keevy was declared unfit to stand trial. Charges against Boonzaaier were dropped.

Scherman told the court he was introduced to Prinsloo for the first time in 2011, after his handler told him to get information on a rightwing organisation called the Vrye Burger Weerstandsbeweging.

He said even before that there were rumours that some members of the organisation were planning an attack on the African National Congress's 8 January gathering.

Scherman's cross-examination was expected to continue on Monday.

- SAPA
Read more on:    anc  |  hein boonzaaier  |  johan prinsloo  |  bloemfontein
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