Mangaung plot accused sought mortars

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justice scales and books Clyde Robinson Clyde [email protected] File image

Bloemfontein - Repeated efforts were made to obtain mortar bombs for treason-accused Johan Prinsloo, the Bloemfontein High Court heard on Monday.

A State witness, identified only as Mr B, testified in cross-examination that he tried to get mortars for Prinsloo in December 2012.

Judge Mojalefa Rampai was hearing evidence in Prinsloo's trial on charges of treason, conspiracy to take part in terrorist acts, and illegal possession of ammunition.

Prinsloo and three other men were arrested a day before the ANC's 2012 Mangaung conference at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein. The State alleges the group tried to kill President Jacob Zuma and senior Cabinet ministers. Prinsloo has pleaded not guilty.

One Monday, Mr B told the court one attempt to get bombs failed. He apparently later received word he could get mortars for R21 000. The transaction was never concluded.

Johann Nel, for Prinsloo, cross-examined Mr B for the whole of Monday. He asked Mr B about what happened when police approached him for information in their investigation of Prinsloo.

Mr B said the investigator threatened him with prison time if he did not co-operate. The State witness said he thought about his wife and children and that he would not like to go to prison.

He eventually made a statement to police about conversations with Prinsloo on firearms and mortars. This included Prinsloo asking him whether he would help in getting explosives and mortars.

Martin Keevy and Mark Trollip were arrested with Prinsloo.

Trollip pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy and was sentenced to eight years' imprisonment last year.

Keevy was declared unfit to stand trial. Charges against another man were dropped.

The trial continues.

Sapa


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