This posting is a direct translation from the original Afrikaans article written by Jacques Pauw, as it appeared on the front page of Rapport - dated Sunday, 7 October 2012:
- Conspiracy by police spies exposed
- Most costly trial must perhaps start over
After nine years and after the guilty verdicts of 20 Boeremag members for high treason, there is a possibility that the Boeremag trial can be derailed due to shock allegations of underhanded dealings by the police.
The trial is the most costly case in South Africa’s legal history.
New sworn affidavits allege that police spies planted evidence, incited, and enticed Boeremag members to commit crimes. It is further alleged that crime intelligence eavesdropped on conversations between the accused and their legal representatives while the accused were in custody.
A total of 20 Boeremag conspirators have already been found guilty of high treason in the Pretoria High Court.
According to Prof. Pierre de Vos, a specialist in constitutional law, if the sworn allegations are true - the Boeremag trial can be declared null and void. The accused can even be set free.
The case has continued for nine years and has cost roughly R100 million. The court record is 50,000 pages long, and exhibits are packed in several storerooms. The State has called 159 witnesses so far.
Media24’s independent investigating team obtained a copy of a sworn affidavit by a former intelligence-officer. The affidavit contained specific allegations, and includes claims of police deception (Afr: polisie-onderduimsheid) and the making available of explosives to the conspirators.
A prominent advocate from Pretoria confirmed this past week that he is acting as the legal representative for “senior and trustworthy” police officials, who submitted sworn affidavits containing details of how crime intelligence had incited, mislead, and entrapped members of the Boeremag. The advocate, who due to the sensitive nature of the case preferred to remain anonymous, said that he had already informed the authorities and handed over the affidavits to them.
Media24’s investigating team has a sworn statement in their possession – made in August by Captain Deon Loots, a former crime intelligence-officer. The statement identifies current and former crime intelligence-officers, who according to Loots conspired to plot a campaign against the Boeremag. He also alleges that eavesdropping apparatus was planted in the cells of the accused and also rooms where they consulted with their legal representatives. He also states that police officers – all white – wanted to secure their future with the “new management” of the police, and used the Boeremag investigation for this purpose.
Loots mentioned in his affidavit that he has been investigating the right-wing on behalf of crime intelligence, since 1994. He recruited and handled the police-agent JC Smit, who infiltrated the Boeremag. Smit was the main State Witness, and his testimony was described by the judge as trustworthy.
Loots mentions he doesn’t believe that all the Boeremag members are innocent, but that the group was enticed and motivated by crime intelligence agents. He said that the infamous “Document 12”, which was considered by the court as the Boeremag’s master plan for a violent Coup d'état by right-wingers, was typed on his own computer and further enhanced before it was presented to the Boeremag. The court found that the Boeremag leader, Mike du Toit, was in possession of “Document 12” and that he discussed it and also distributed it to other conspirators
“The Boeremag was powered, orchestrated and controlled by police members. Right-wingers were incited to create the perfect climate,” Loots said.
Paul Kruger, a lawyer who acted for 13 of the Boeremag members, said that the defence team always suspected their conversations were being eavesdropped on. In December 2003 an eavesdropping device was found in the cell of Lets Pretorius, where he was being held in the maximum security section of Pretoria Central prison. Kruger managed to obtain a sworn statement from a prison warder who confirmed this. Two experts also confirmed that the device was a highly sophisticated and sensitive apparatus, and in good working order.
When Loots was asked in, the past week, why he only decided to provide a sworn affidavit now, he replied that he had for years tried to bring the controversy under the attention of his superiors, but that he was repeatedly shunned.
The police agreed that they would react to the allegations by the day before yesterday, but have, until last night, not delivered any commentary yet.
Sourced from Rapport – Print Edition, dated 7 October 2012. Translated into English by Tia Mysoa.
Boeremag defendants: leftovers of apartheid or freedom fighters? By Avigdor Eskin
“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.”
Marcus Tullius Cicero