High treason charge constitutional - judge

2012-07-24 19:18

Pretoria - The crime of high treason was reconcilable with the Constitution and did not violate any constitutional rights of the accused in the Boeremag treason trial, the trial judge has ruled.

Judge Eben Jordaan on Tuesday rejected argument by the 22 accused that the description of high treason was so wide that it violated several of the rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

He said the Constitution granted rights and responsibilities to the state, its structures and its citizens, and specifically forbade citizens to take part in an armed struggle.

The principle of allegiance to the state was not in conflict with or excluded by the Constitution, he said.

Judge Jordaan said the crime of high treason was recognised in several European countries, as well as in the USA and Canada.

The 22 accused in the treason trial were not accused of minor political deeds, but of forming an organisation and recruiting others to overthrow the existing government - and committing serious, violent crimes in the process.

They were accused of the large-scale manufacture of explosives and causing a series of bomb explosions which killed a person and caused damage worth millions of rands.

They were also accused of attempting to murder former president Nelson Mandela while on the run from police.

These were violent criminal actions that ran counter to the supremacy of the law and attacked the very foundation of democracy.

Armed struggle for self-determination was unconstitutional and violated the Constitution.

It could only be achieved within the bounds of the Constitution through negotiation and could only be accomplished through national legislation, the judge said.

He said there was no indication that the accused had tried to negotiate the right to self-determination. Their defence of the accused, who are white, was in fact that they were preparing themselves against an armed attack by blacks.

The judge further ruled that the accused's right to a fair trial had not been violated in any way.

He said the length of the trial could largely be laid at the door of the accused, who launched over 40 separate applications complaining about anything from the lights in the cells to the music in jail.

Many of the accused had numerous legal representatives during the course of the nine-year trial, which had resulted in further delays.

The applications included an attack on the legality of the Constitution, the jurisdiction of the court and an application for the judge and the leader of the prosecution to withdraw from the trial.

A belated application by three of the accused to be declared "prisoners of war" also took up many months.

The accused denied all of the charges at the start of the trial and many of them only changed their versions and made certain admissions many years later.

A total of 194 witnesses testified for the state, and many state witnesses spent months in the witness box.

Judge Jordaan also rejected the accused's claims that they did not have a fair trial because the State opposed bail for some.

They also claimed the fact that they were transported with loud sirens to court every day and that some were forced to wear chains in court violated their right to humane treatment, and created the impression that they were dangerous.

Judgment continues.

  • Squeegee - 2012-07-24 19:32

    All this does is highlight the treason committed by the ANC. Put them all in jail with the boeremag guys.

      chaplinncharlie - 2012-07-24 20:18

      Boet if you put the ANC in jail for Treason then there wouldn't be a ANC...

      Squeegee - 2012-07-24 20:36

      Charlie... my point exactly. What a pleasure.

      scebberish.umfazi - 2012-07-25 07:01

      "The principle of allegiance to the state was not in conflict with or excluded by the Constitution" the judge said. Scary stuff. Does this mean voting for the opposition can be construed as treason then? So when the ANC are voted out one day they can declare treason and use force to remain in power?

  • John - 2012-07-24 19:44

    Treason. What is treason? Swearing allegiance to someone or something, then breaking that allegiance. Yeah these men committed some crimes, murder? explosives? assault? these have to be proved, but treason I do not think. What I find amusing is that fertiliser and dieselene are components to make explosives. What farm does not use fertiliser and dieselene? Did these men actually have ready made bombs? I would really like more information.

      chaplinncharlie - 2012-07-24 20:23

      The only reason why they bring this case into the public eye is to ensure that the masses vote for the ANC with next coming Election... Boeremag is the ANC escape goat...

      msendi - 2012-07-24 21:48

      You can praise you heroes who are fighting for whatever they are fighting for, the truth is, life is going on while you are crying and starring at you rearview mirrors. Apartheid is gone, forever. Just accept it before it is too late… Hatred will only bring you unnecessary heart attacks… Mandela said, "Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another…" Just live with it or rot in jail…

      scebberish.umfazi - 2012-07-25 07:22

      msendi, you may want to take another look around you. Mandela said "Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another…" Really, then please lets start with the xenophobia and move along from there shall we...........

      scebberish.umfazi - 2012-07-25 07:28

      furthermore, while you have all been "staring in your rearview mirrors" at apartheid, as you put it, all the other groups have been totally marginalised and hi-jacked by the Zulu's. So actually its you who may want to wake up before its to late.

  • Stlouis Heidtmann - 2012-07-24 19:46

    @siobo you are right a crime should be paid for but why is jacob zuma not in prison why julius and the whole ancyl and anc in jail boeremag guys should rot in jail with the whole anc and 2/3s of the country who still allows them to rule this country is gone moer toe

  • millionwatts1 - 2012-07-24 20:00

    They were spending too much time on New24. They started believing the Hype.

      victor.tamaranui - 2012-07-24 20:06


      jackie.stone.501 - 2012-07-24 20:20

      @millionwatts1 spot on, i think some who takes this news24 serious would also land in jail one of these days

      mphozana.manfred - 2012-07-24 20:35

      How amusing, m sure they did, lmfao!!

  • bongani.nsele.58 - 2012-07-24 20:03

    a man has to be asleep in order to dream these blockheads were daydreaming, severe punishment is their due reward...getting african people out of africa so they can have it as their own, how twisted is that?

  • sean.kedian - 2012-07-24 20:44

    Thi s is a joke. If committing treason is defined as wanting a new government then thiss bloody useless government must start building VERY big prisons because they will need them after the next ANC National in December

      blip.noodlum - 2012-07-25 00:12

      Treason isn't defined by wanting a new government. It's your democratic right to want a new government. But you have to go about getting that new government by legal and democratic means.

      scebberish.umfazi - 2012-07-25 07:42

      blip, you an ostrich man, where has your head been the last 20 years, buried somewhere. There is no democracy in this country, take time to find the real reason so many vote ANC dude. (like losing your home if you dont vote what the chief tells you for one)

  • pages:
  • 1