The affordable education loan option
Kimberley - The State painted a picture of the leader of the Geloftevolk Republiekeine (GR) André Visagie as being a far right-wing extremist who incited members not to hand in illegal weapons.
Visagie appeared in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court on Monday along with a 17-year-old minor on charges of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.
Both accused have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Among the items found at his home were choking devices, pangas, a crossbow, home-made as well as unlicenced firearms and AK47 rifles.
State prosecutor Shaun Abrahams quoted Visagie as urging the Afrikaner nation to revolt against the “black devil” and to reclaim sovereignty over the land and their freedom.
He said Visagie was photographed with the architect of apartheid, Dr Hendrik Verwoed, in the GR internal newsletter.
“Visagie encouraged GR members to arm themselves and fight since the situation had become explosive.
“When (former ANC Youth League president) Julius Malema incites people to kill the boer (farmer), it suits the ANC, but if the AWB announces that black people should be killed they are reported to the South African Human Rights Council. An unarmed white man is a dead man,” he quoted Visagie as saying.
He added that Visagie motivated for a second Battle of Blood River, where he blamed the ANC for the massacre of white farmers.
Abrahams stated that shortly before the search and seizure was conducted at his home, Visagie was quoted in a Sunday newspaper, in 2010, warning Afrikaners in Brakpan to unite against the “swart gevaar” (threat posed by the African people) who were murdering white farmers.
“If they (blacks) think that we are soft targets, they are making a huge mistake. The battle will begin on December 16. His statement was read out with balled fists to loud applause from the audience.”
He said that while Visagie claimed, during cross examination, that he had phoned the journalist who wrote the article for a retraction, he could not satisfactorily explain why the correction had never been published.
Magistrate Vernon Smith dismissed an application to recall a witness Rudolph Steyn to the stand to clarify certain aspects of his testimony.
Steyn had reported Visagie to the police regarding the illegal firearms, ammunition and hand-made devices that would be used to perform “acts of terror”.
He had also informed the police that as Visagie’s driver and bodyguard, he was forced to train GR members to plant bombs, poison water supplies and commit acts of terrorism.
Visagie in turn, believes that Steyn was responsible for planting the evidence in his home. He related that while no one in his home smoked, he distinctly remembered the smell of smoke in his house and a book that was missing, after returning home from church one Sunday.
“Despite the supposed threats to his safety, no cases of trespassing or theft were reported to the police,” Abrahams said.
“Visagie never disclosed to the police that Koos de Wet, who is a member of the Lion brigade of the GR and an old friend, had manufactured a knife as well as a choking device that was found in his bedroom. The accused must have been fully aware of the ammunition that was stored in a wooden chest found on his property.”
Visagie’s legal representative, Advocate Jurg Prinsloo SC, stated that it was highly probable that Steyn had planted the chest containing the ammunition, perhaps with the assistance of a third party.
“He stayed in Visagie’s house and had free access to the house for two months while living in one of the rooms. He knew all the security codes and had intimate details of the movements of the occupants.”
He added that, based on footage obtained of Visagie’s body language and expression, he believed that he was genuinely surprised when the police unpacked the contents of the chest.
“Both the accused had no knowledge of the chest or the ammunition. The 9mm pistol was given to the accused by his father-in-law for safekeeping.” Prinsloo stated that the quotes that were read out in court were political statements that held no relevance to the court case.
The case was postponed for judgement on November 1.
Diamond Fields Advertiser