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Pretoria - Their somewhat bizarre plans to overthrow the government which in-cluded chasing 30 million blacks along the N1 to Zimbabwe and Asians to Durban via the N3, could have life-long consequences for nine members of the Boeremag with the State calling for life sentences.
The marathon Pretoria High Court trial, already in its 10th year, could finally be over by the end of the year.
Earlier this month counsel for the 19 accused wrapped up their legal arguments in mitigation of sentence.
The team appearing for the State concluded their arguments on Friday with the defence expected to deliver their rebuttal on September 30.
It will then be up to Judge Eben Jordaan to decide the Boeremag members’ fate.
Most of the men have been convicted of high treason, a charge for which they can be sentenced to life imprisonment.
Advocate Paul Fick, who leads the prosecution team, this week told the court every person in South Africa’s life would have been affected in some way if the Boeremag had been permitted to carry on with its activities and plans to overthrow the government.
“It is not about a bloodless coup which was planned, also not about a small group of people who would have been affected.
“It would have affected millions of people living in this country.”
Fick said the planned coup was aimed at overthrowing the whole democratic process – something millions of South Africans had voted in favour of at the polls.
“The aim was to move back to a position far worse than that during the apartheid era.”
Their plans for taking over the country included creating violent conflict between the various cultures leading to mass murder, he said.
According to Fick, the accused aimed to involve the non-suspecting public in their plans.
Although these plans did not succeed, damage amounting to millions was done when various buildings, such as a temple and a mosque, were bombed, he said.
One woman was left dead when she was hit by a piece of railway track that hit her shack when the railway line was bombed.
Fick noted that the group even planned to kill former president Nelson Mandela in a bid to cause chaos in the country.
“They acted for their own selfish reasons…
“They wanted to force their political will on those who voted yes (for change).”
Fick said the accused wanted to be part of their own new government, in which they “reserved” top positions for themselves.
He questioned why the accused should be treated differently because their motives were of a political nature.
Fick argued that their deeds remained crimes.
He asked the judge to impose harsh sentences on most of the accused.
Although the trial started out with 22 accused, only 19 are remaining.
Two – Frik Boltman and Herman Scheepers – died during the trial, and a third, Fritz Naudé, is critically ill.
The State asked that the sentencing of Naudé be postponed for a year, as it is unlikely that he will recover from his illness.
Sentences the court is asking for
The State has called for the following sentences, noting how long some accused had been in custody:
Mike du Toit – 11 years and six months. Asking for at least 15 years.
Andre du Toit – 11 years and six months. Asking for 10 years.
Rooikoos du Plessis – Eight years and seven months (on bail now). Asking for 10 years, partially suspended.
Adriaan van Wyk – Nine years and 11 months (on bail). Asking for five years.
Deon van den Heever – Granted bail within a month. Asking for 10 years.
Giel Burger – Granted bail within a month. Asking for 10 years.
Jacques Olivier – Granted bail within a month. Asking for 10 years.
Pieter van Deventer – Granted bail within a month. Asking for 10 years.
Tom Vorster – In custody 10 years and 11 months. Asking for life.
Dirk Hanekom – 11 years. Asking for life.
Dr Lets Pretorius – Held 18 months before being granted bail. Asking for life.
Vis Visagie – 10 years and eight months. Asking for 10 years.
Herman van Rooyen – 10 years and two months. Asking for life.
Dr Johan Pretorius – 10 years and 10 months. Asking for life.
Kobus Pretorius – 10 years and10 months. Asking for life.
Wilhelm Pretorius – 10 years and 10 months. Asking for life.
Rudi Gouws – 10 years and two months Asking for life.
Jacques Jordaan – Held four months before being granted bail. Asking for five years, partially suspended.
Frits Naude – Critically ill. Asking for his sentencing to be postponed for a year.