Prinsloo: Malema sparked rightwing plot

2014-02-13 15:56
Hein Boonzaaier and Johan Prinsloo in court. (Picture: Volksblad)

Hein Boonzaaier and Johan Prinsloo in court. (Picture: Volksblad)

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Bloemfontein - Threats of anarchy by Julius Malema sparked a rightwing plot to attack the ANC's 2012 Mangaung conference, a Free State court heard on Thursday.

Judge Mojalefa Rampai was hearing evidence in the treason and conspiracy trial of Johan Prinsloo, 51, from Springs, in the Free State High Court.

Johann Nel, for Prinsloo, told the court his client wanted to defend his people after Malema threatened there would be anarchy at the African National Congress's elective conference in December 2012.

"He [Prinsloo] was serious about the protection of his 'volk' [people]," Nel said while cross-examining State witness Jaco Scherman, a rightwing infiltrator. Scherman confirmed this.

Mark Trollip, 48, Martin Keevy, 49, and Prinsloo were arrested in connection with the alleged plan to attack the ANC's Mangaung conference on 16 December 2012.

"His [Prinsloo's] involvement with Trollip was purely... [for] protecting his people, in a defensive nature. He identified himself with that," argued Nel.

"It was an open secret that [at the time] Malema, a political agitator, had threatened the Mangaung conference and there would be anarchy."

Scherman denied that there had been discussions of Malema - now the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters - in the rightwing meetings he attended.

Turning to the rightwing group's finances, Scherman disagreed with a statement by Prinsloo that he never made money available to buy weaponry for the attack.

Scherman said Prinsloo took about R9 500 from a black plastic bag to finance the acquisition of mortar bombs in Ficksburg.

Prinsloo's lawyer acknowledged he had attended a meeting in Ficksburg but said it was not to buy weapons.

"He was mainly involved with the organising of food for the meeting, because people came from far," submitted Nel.

Scherman disagreed, saying he knew it was to buy weapons.

Nel finished his cross-examination of Scherman before the lunch break.

Trollip has already pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy and was sentenced to eight years in prison last year.

In October, Keevy was declared unfit to stand trial and was declared a patient of the State.

Prinsloo faces charges of treason, conspiracy to take part in terrorist acts, and possession of illegal ammunition.

The trial continues.

Read more on:    hein boonzaaier  |  johan prinsloo  |  bloemfontein
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