AWB’s ‘don’t touch me on my studio’ man gets 5-year prison sentence

2014-07-10 08:38

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Former Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) secretary-general André Visagie has been given a five-year prison sentence for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

“The Kimberley Regional Court ... sentenced Mr André Visagie ... the leader of the Geloftevolk Republikeine, a right-wing organisation that strives for the independence of the Boer nation,” the National Prosecuting Authority said yesterday.

Visagie received a five-year sentence for illegal possession of firearms, two years for unlawful possession of ammunition and one year for possession of parts of a firearm.

The sentences for the second and third counts would run concurrently.

Yesterday, Visagie applied for leave to appeal against both the conviction and sentence. His application for the sentence was dismissed, but he was granted leave to appeal the conviction.

Visagie, along with his 18-year-old son Jan, was arrested in March 2011 after six home-made shotguns, a 9mm semiautomatic pistol, as well as parts of another gun and a large quantity of ammunition were found in his home.

In November last year, his son was acquitted, but Visagie was convicted on the three counts. At the time of his conviction in November, Magistrate Vernon Smith said Visagie had “an absolute lack of trust” in the police and was concerned about farm attacks, which made him believe people needed to protect themselves.

Smith said there was no evidence that Jan Visagie had knowledge of the firearms found in the cupboard in his room.

In April 2010, shortly after the murder of AWB leader Eugene Terre’Blanche, Visagie had a confrontation on television with political commentator Lebohang Pheko on Africa 360, a current affairs show on the eNews Channel and on eNews Africa.

Visagie threatened Pheko before storming off the set. He was involved in a confrontation with presenter Chris Maroleng, which resulted in Maroleng telling Visagie: “Don’t touch me on my studio”.

In June that year, Visagie resigned from the AWB to start his own party – the Geloftevolk Republikeine.

At the time, he said the party would “prepare the Boer nation for the onslaught that our nation is facing ... We will be prepared and ready for any onslaught and in a position to protect ourselves”.

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