Hawks arrest 'Crusaders terrorist movement' leader, discover suspected explosives factory

2019-11-29 21:01
Self-professed leader of the National Christian Resistance Movement, Harry Knoesen. (Supplied)

Self-professed leader of the National Christian Resistance Movement, Harry Knoesen. (Supplied)

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The self-professed leader of the National Christian Resistance Movement (NCRM), Harry Knoesen, was arrested on Thursday by the Hawks at his Mpumalanga home on terrorism-related charges.

The Hawks are also on the hunt for Riana Heymans who is wanted for questioning on the activities of the NCRM.

In a statement on Friday, Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said they have been gathering intelligence on the NCRM, also known as the Crusaders, for the past two years.

"The arrest follows a two-year extensive intelligence-led investigation into the alleged terrorist plot apparently co-ordinated by the group to target national key points, shopping malls and informal settlements," Mulaudzi added.

Knoesen, 60, is a former national defence force member and retired pastor. He was apprehended and charged for terrorism-related activities in contravention of the Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorism and Related Activities Act as well as the unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.

His case has been postponed to December 2 for legal aid representation.

A search at his other residence in the Eastern Cape, according to the Hawks, uncovered a possible explosives factory, electronic devices and documents as well an unlicenced firearm and ammunition that have been seized for further analysis.

Meanwhile, the Hawks have secured a warrant of the arrest for Heymans.

The Hawks have secured a warrant for the arrest of

The Hawks are searching for Riana Heymans who is wanted for questioning on the activities of the NCRM. (Supplied/Hawks)

Mulaudzi sounded a strong warning that "any member of the public found to be harbouring her" was in ''contravention of section 12 of the act".

Members of the public are urged to refrain from getting involved in such activities and anyone who might know Heymans' whereabouts should contact the investigating officer, Warrant Officer Jaco Koekemoer on 082 778 9157 or Lieutenant Colonel Koos de Klerk on 071 481 2982, Mulaudzi added.

Read more on:    hawks  |  mbombela  |  terrorism  |  crime
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