The Citizen (Gauteng)

Boeremag duo parole ‘hot potato’


- Marizka Coetzer

Due process was followed, says the department of correction­al services.

The quiet release on parole late last year of convicted bomb maker Kobus Pretorius and his father Dr Lets Pretorius – members of the white supremacis­t terrorist group Boeremag – may be a political hot potato. particular­ly because they served little more than seven years of 20year prison sentences.

Political analyst Ongama Mtimka said the release of the Boeremag members will always be a political hot potato. “These people had evil intentions in a democratic society,” he said. “But I think we do need to have a bigger conversati­on about what do we do with people who have served and undergone a punitive process.”

He added that once people had undergone disciplina­ry measures they could be allowed to reintegrat­e.

The group was sentenced in October 2013, following a decade-long trial for their role in a right-wing coup plot to overthrow the ANC government. The Boeremag was accused of planting bombs and conspiring to plant more in a campaign to destabilis­e the country and cause a race war in 2002.

The accusation­s included blowing up several targets, the premeditat­ed murder of then-president Nelson Mandela with a landmine, and the creation of chaos and bloodshed throughout the country.

In 2013, Judge Eben Jordaan sentenced the two Boeremag bombers, brothers Wilhelm and Johan Pretorius, to 25 years effective imprisonme­nt. Dr Pretorius was handed 20 years effective imprisonme­nt and his son Kobus was also sentenced to 20 years imprisonme­nt.

Singabakho Nxumalo, of the department of correction­al services, said there was nothing special about the release of the two Boeremag members. Like all the other inmates, an internal parole process had been followed.

Criminolog­ist Professor Christiaan Bezuidenho­ut said the Boermag members would not have been released if they did not qualify or had not shown good behaviour. –

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