Mom pleads for Boeremag son's bail

By Zelda Venter Time of article published Jan 23, 2008

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They had never been fanatics. They were merely "boere" for whom their culture was of the utmost importance, the mother of Boeremag accused Kobus Pretorius on Tuesday told the Pretoria High Court.

Minnie Pretorius pleaded with Judge Khami Makhafola to grant her son bail and said she vowed that he would not abscond.

"There is no way in which he will flee. He will face his trial up to the end," she said.

Pretorius's husband, Dr Lets Pretorius and their three sons - Johan, Wilhelm and Kobus - are all among the Boeremag accused facing an array of charges pertaining to an alleged plot to overthrow the government.

State prosecutor Dries van Rensburg, who is opposing bail for Kobus Pretorius, asked the mother whether she was aware of the fact that her husband and sons could go to jail for a long time.

He said that at the end of last year during an application for the dismissal of charges against the accused, trial judge Eben Jordaan had found there was a prima facie case against them.

Van Rensburg also grilled Pretorius on Tuesday about her own political beliefs and asked her where she saw herself under the ANC regime.

Pretorius said she would not mind if there could be a "black Verwoerd" in charge of things.

"If President Mbeki told us today that we can have our own piece of land I would be very happy. We are striving for our own identity," Pretorius said.

She testified that she was not aware of any wrongdoing on the part of her sons or her husband which warranted criminal charges. She said her son was a talented and diligent man who could contribute positively to the community if only he was allowed bail.

Van Rensburg asked her what had then possessed him to manufacture a bomb that was allegedly designed to kill Nelson Mandela or to allegedly make the bomb that exploded in Soweto, killing a woman. Pretorius dismissed these claims as false.

Pretorius was also told that before the arrest of her family in September 2002 they had been busy with preparations for Operation Popeye, allegedly aimed at causing chaos in the country to overthrow the government.

She said she had been worried as a wife and mother when her husband was arrested and her sons went on the run in 2002.


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