The Citizen (Gauteng)
Boeremag duo parole ‘hot potato’
RELEASED QUIETLY: SERVED 7 OF 20-YEAR SENTENCES
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. – firstname.lastname@example.org