The ANC welcomes the conviction of treason-accused Johan Prinsloo, says party spokesperson Zizi Kodwa.
“Prinsloo was part of the troika that was accused of seeking to overthrow the South African government by organising mortar bombs to bomb the ANC’s 53rd National Conference in Manguang in December 2012,” said Kodwa today.
“The attempted right-wing coup plot and the actions of Prinsloo and his ilk were designed to reverse the significant gains made by the people of South Africa in seeking reconciliation and unity,” he said.
He said they further sought other weapons to attack the president and the national executive committee of the ANC.
“The bloodshed that they would have caused, had they succeeded in their treasonous deed, would undoubtedly have had the effect of seeking to plunge this country into crisis.”
The Free State High Court convicted Prinsloo of high treason and possession of ammunition and jailed him for eight years.
His co-accused Mark Trollip had last year pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy and was also handed an eight-year jail term.
A third defendant, Martin Keevy, was found mentally unfit to stand trial and charges against him were withdrawn.
The men arrested in the central Free State province were members of the Federal Freedom Party (FFP), which wants a separate state for white minority Afrikaners.
Charges against the fourth accused, Hein Boonzaaier, then the party leader, were dropped due to insufficient evidence.
Kodwa said the ANC commended the criminal justice system for handling an extremely sensitive case.
“We once again reiterate our call for stringent enforcement of gun control laws and those designed to deter the possession of ammunition and illegal firearms. Ours collectively is to ensure that the people in our country are, and feel, safe.”