Boeremag accused tells judge:‘I will die in jail because I am white’
to 10 to 48 years for conspiring to overthrow the ANC government in the early 2000s.
“A sentence of 20 years is actually a death sentence for me,” Pretorius told the court.
“I am 67 years old and will be 87 when I’ve served 20 years. By that time, chances are good that neither I nor my wife will still be alive.
“I honestly never expected such a severe sentence, and did not make long-term provision for my wife’s care.
“I know it can be argued that I was convicted of violent crimes, but I’m a political prisoner and I’m also white.
“If I look and listen to what happens to other white political prisoners... I know as an enemy of the state that my chances of getting parole are slim.”
Pretorius, who was out on bail for nine years before being sentenced earlier this week, testified that he had always adhered to his bail conditions, and had no plans to flee.
“I cannot see how I can be regarded as a danger to society. I’ve devoted my whole life to helping people,” he said.
Pretorius said he was his wife Minnie’s personal physician, psychiatrist and soulmate.
He had nursed her through breast cancer and depression, and also acted as a surrogate father to his grandchildren.
According to Pretorius, his sentencing had been a great shock to his wife and she was not doing well emotionally.
Pretorius said he wanted to help his advocate prepare for an appeal, and also needed to generate funds for an appeal since it was uncertain whether Legal Aid SA would fund his appeal.
“I’ve been advised that I have a chance on appeal. I think it would be very unwise to even consider fleeing or not to adhere to my bail conditions,” he said.
Pieter Luyt, for the State, argued that Pretorius was a flight risk because of the long sentence he faced.
“There’s no reasonable prospect of success on appeal, and it is highly unlikely that another court would impose a different sentence.
“Through his crimes and his conduct, he (Pretorius) has clearly shown that he is a danger to society,” Luyt argued.
Judge Eben Jordaan will deliver judgment in the bail application on Wednesday.
Yesterday, the judge declared all the Boeremag members, except for Adriaan van Wyk and former defence force officers Giel Burger and Pieter van Deventer, unfit to possess firearms. – Sapa