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‘Boeremag plans would’ve caused a bloodbath’

Judge Jordaan says the Boeremag wanted to change govt through unconstitutional means, including violence.

Some of the Boeremag accused being led to the holding cells in the North Gauteng High court. Picture: Barry Bateman/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Judge Eben Jordaan says if members of the so-called Boeremag had carried out their terror plans there would have been a bloodbath in South Africa.

The 20 men, who were found guilty in July last year of various crimes, including high treason, murder and terrorism for plotting a racist coup, are being sentenced in the North Gauteng High Court today.

The decade-long trial is believed to have cost taxpayers more than R30 million in Legal Aid fees for the accused.

Jordaan says all of the men played a part, in varying degrees, in the plan to illegally overthrow the government.

He says there would have been a bloodbath if their plans, as detailed in numerous seized documents which were presented as evidence, were carried out.

While referring to provisions in the Constitution protecting citizens' rights, the judge told the accused there were limitations imposed where the rights of fellow citizens were infringed upon.

He says the coup plotters planned to change the government through unconstitutional means, including violence.

Sentencing is expected to conclude tomorrow, potentially bringing to an end one of the longest running and most expensive trials in South African legal history.

Five of the Boeremag acted as a bomb squad, by blowing up numerous targets and attempting to kill former President Nelson Mandela in a plan to create chaos in the country.

The state wants these men, who were also responsible for a bomb which killed a Soweto woman, sent to jail for life.