Plot to bomb conference tent scuppered

2012-12-17 00:00

AN alleged right-wing plot to bomb one of the ANC’s conference tents was scuppered by the police yesterday.

Seven men were nabbed by a joint task team of the Hawks and crime intelligence.

They were allegedly planning to blow up a big plenary tent used for the ANC’s 53rd national elective conference.

The police arrested them in Bloemfontein, Douglas in the Northern Cape and Mookgophong in Limpopo.

The arrests followed weeks of investigation by the police.

It is understood that one of the alleged right-wing plotters has made an admission of guilt before a magistrate.

The Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court also issued search warrants for the police to raid a suspect’s house in one of the suburbs in the city

It is expected that the seven will appear on a charge of high treason in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court today.

ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said yesterday he was “not aware” of the bomb threat.

“It is good that they did not make us aware. This way the conference has continued without any disruption.

“It is a good thing that they have been arrested. We have ANC members, journalists, priests and ambassadors here.

“It would have been terrible if anything had happened,” he said.

Security was tightened around the conference, with a visible police presence and security officials on the University of the Free State campus.

Several roadblocks on routes to Bloemfontein were also reported.

SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Puti Setati said he could not discuss details of the security operation.

“The mandate of the SAPS is to ensure that law and order is maintained and that the event goes ahead smoothly,” he said.

City Press reported last week that crime intelligence had sent more police spies to Mangaung.

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