Two members of the right-wing organisation, the Crusaders, have been sentenced to eight years behind bars for planning terrorist activities.
Hawks spokesperson, Colonel Katlego Mogale, said 55-year-old Eric Donald Abrahams and 50-year-old Erroll Abrahams were on Tuesday found guilty and sentenced in the Middelburg Regional Court for the contravention of the Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorism and Related Matters Act (POCDATARA).
Mogale said the pair had prepared and planned to carry out terrorist attacks on government institutions “and the African population in South Africa on 28 November 2019”.
“The two formed part of the Crusaders organisation that planned and conspired to overthrow the democratically elected government of South Africa and replace it with a government led by the organisation. This objective would be achieved by carrying out attacks on military and police installations as well as on informal settlements occupied by African persons.
“On 28 and 29 November 2019, the Crimes Against the State section of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation arrested the accused, Eric Donald Abrahams and Erroll Abrahams in Kliprivier Gauteng. They remained in custody until the finalisation of the case,” Mogale said.
Mogale said the duo were sentenced as follows:
- Count 1: Preparing and planning to carry out terrorist attacks – 15 years’ imprisonment, of which seven years are suspended for five years.
- Count 2: Financing of specified offence (terrorism) – five years’ imprisonment.
- Count 3: Unlawful possession of prohibited firearm – five years’ imprisonment.
- Count 4: Unlawful possession of a firearm- five years’ imprisonment.
- Count 5: Unlawful possession of ammunition – five years’ imprisonment.
- Count 6: Unlawful possession of more than 200 cartridges- five years imprisonment.
“Effectively each accused will serve 8 years in prison. All other sentences will run concurrent with the sentence on count 1 (preparing and planning to carry out terrorist attacks).
“The court has further ordered in terms of section 103 of the Firearms Control Act, that both accused are unfit to possess firearms, ammunition, competency certificates, licences, authorisation and permits,” Mogale said.
Mogale added that the case against the other accused, Harry Knoesen, who pleaded not guilty, would continue on 1 February 2021.
Hawks head, Lieutenant-General Godfrey Lebeya, commended the team of investigators and prosecutors for the work that had been done resulting in the two men’s convictions.
Compiled by Makhosandile Zulu