BOEREMAG bomber Herman van Rooyen yesterday became the 15th Boeremag member to be convicted of high treason by the High Court in Pretoria.

Van Rooyen, a farmer in Bela Bela, was the Boeremag’s military commander in Limpopo and headed a bombing campaign late in 2002. He was part of a group of accused who tried to kill Nelson Mandela with a bomb near Bolobedu, Limpopo, in October 2002.

The bomb had been planted along the route which they hoped Mandela would travel on his way to open a school. He arrived in a helicopter instead.

Van Rooyen participated in planting bombs at the police’s air wing at Grand Central Airport, a bridge in Port Edward, and a railway line in Soweto.

Under his leadership, several bombs were triggered at the same time in Soweto on the night of October 29, 2002. Claudia Mamatsieng Mokone was killed when a piece of steel was flung into her shack by the railway line blast.

He was also one of the leaders during the Boeremag’s failed D-Day plan in September 2002, where a group of men were on their way to start a bombing campaign aimed at overthrowing the government.

Judge Eben Jordaan said the arrest of some of the Boeremag members had not stopped Van Rooyen, who refined his coup plan and continued to plan attacks.

He had undertaken reconnaissance work to identify targets for the bombings, including a taxi rank and a mosque on the Potchefstroom road.

At one stage, he was involved in plans to free fellow Boeremag members and to kill policemen and prosecutors involved in the investigation against the Boeremag.

Judgment continues. – Sapa.