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Pretoria - Supporters and relatives of the 20 Boeremag coup plotters filled the High Court in Pretoria on Monday as sentencing proceedings began.
The men, who had wanted to stage a violent government take-over and kill former president Nelson Mandela, were convicted of treason.
Some of their supporters carried colourful artificial flowers which they distributed among themselves. Many of them sat together in a semi-enclosed area outside court during the lunch adjournment. Among them were also a few children.
Several of the Afrikaans-speaking men wore khaki shirts and pants. One of the numerous lawyers involved in the case wore a khaki hat during the lunch break and after proceedings.
Inside court, the accused, most of whom wore formal shirts, filled two rows of benches. They chatted among themselves while others tried to hold conversations with their relatives seated three rows behind them.
Police officers occupied the first row behind the accused and journalists filled the second row. After the proceedings some of the supporters hugged each other. Sentencing was expected to resume on Tuesday.