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Pretoria - Information revealed during the latter part of the Boeremag trial last year has led police to the discovery of an arms cache in Mpumalanga.
After an intensive week-long search by task force members in the mountains on an unoccupied farm in Middelburg, police made the discovery of arms and ammunition hidden deep in a cave.
Hawks spokesman Paul Ramaloko said Herman van Rooyen and Rudi Gouws, who were members of the Boeremag bomb squad, allegedly hid the weapons during their first escape in 2005.
Ramaloko said none of the Boeremag members assisted police in the investigations and that months of intensive intelligence-driven investigations led police to the Mpumalanga town.
“We were confident that when we arrived there, we would leave with something. After one week of intensive searching in the mountain our investigation bore fruit,” he said.
During the search, police found three 20mm cannon barrels; a firing pin; a tripod mount for a cannon; four 20mm rounds of ammunition; five 500ml cooldrink bottles filled with 7.62 ammunition; three 500ml bottles filled with .22 ammunition; three 37mm rounds; and a CS grenade.
According to Ramaloko, the cache was in good condition and was ready for use.
“Everything was ready to go. All one would have to do is assemble the tripod and the cannon and it was ready to fire,” he said.
Ramaloko said the owner of the farm is in the US and the caretaker is in Joburg, and that no arrests had been made yet.
“Further investigations will reveal the way forward and if they were aware of the hidden stash. It was a difficult search because there is nothing on the farm besides a house which is used for overnight hiking facilities.”
He said it was uncertain whether further charges would be added considering the Boeremag accused have already been found guilty and were serving long sentences. He said police could not rule out the possibility of more discoveries.
“This is an ongoing investigation and we cannot say it’s the end,” he said.
The last chapter in the Boeremag trial, which ran for 10 years in the Pretoria High Court, was heard last week when Judge Eben Jordaan turned down an application for leave to appeal by five of the jailed men.