Marizka Coetzer
Journalist
2 minute read
11 May 2021
12:51 pm

Boeremag parole: ‘Nothing special’ about hush-hush release

Marizka Coetzer

The Department says the two have served their time, while a political analyst says the country has bigger problems than two aged terrorists.

Members of the Boeremag at the North Gauteng High Court on October 29, 2013, in Pretoria, South Africa. The members of the Boeremag were convicted of high treason and given jail terms between 5 and 30 years. (Photo by Gallo Images / Foto24 / Theana Breugem)

There is nothing special about the hush-hush release of two of the members of the white supremacist terrorist group, the Boeremag last year.

The bomb maker Kobus Pretorius and his father, Dr Lets Pretorius were released last year, after being sentenced in October 2013 following a decade-long trail.

The Boeremag was accused of planting various bombs, and conspiring to plant more, in a campaign to destabilise the country by attempting to bring about a race war in 2002.

The group’s plans included blowing up several targets, the premeditated murder of then-president Nelson Mandela with a land mine, and the creation of chaos and bloodshed throughout the country.

In 2013 Judge Eben Jordaan sentenced the two brothers Wilhelm, and Johan Pretorius and to 25 years’ effective imprisonment, and their father to 20 years’ effective imprisonment for their role in a right-wing coup plot to overthrow the African National Congress (ANC) government.

Younger brother Kobus confessed to his role as a master bomb maker, and apologised for what he did after turning his back on his family, but still earned himself a 20 years sentence.

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA – OCTOBER 29: Kobus Pretorius at the North Gauteng High Court on October 29, 2013, in Pretoria, South Africa. The members of the Boeremag were convicted of high treason and given jail terms between 5 and 30 years. (Photo by Gallo Images / Foto24 / Brendaon Croft)

‘Nothing special’

Singabakho Nxumalo, spokesperson for the Department of Correctional Services, said there is nothing special about the release of the two Boeremag members.

Nxumalo did not want to disclose when the duo was released last year. He said like all the other inmates, an internal parole process was followed.

“When they are due for parole consideration the parole board decides the placement of the inmate,” Nxumalo explained.

Nxumalo added there is nothing special in this release.

“They were due for consideration of parole at the right time and considered for placement,” Nxumalo said.

Little harm

Political analyst Ralph Mathekga also said he does not see what harm the released members could cause.“They have aged and I don’t see any concerns,” Mathekga said.

He added that it is a waste to keep older inmates who have served their time and shown accountability in jail.

“What purpose does it serve keeping them inside when they can be intertemporal,” Mathekga said.

He said like many things from the past the release of these two Boeremag members is perhaps one of those things that everybody would just like to move away from.

“I would imagine South Africans have much greater challenges,” concluded.

marizkac@citizen.co.za