Seven arrested for right wing Mangaung bomb plot
Seven people have been arrested in connection with an alleged right wing plot to bomb a tent at the ANC's electoral conference.
City Press reported on Sunday night the seven were arrested in Limpopo, the Northern Cape and the Free State.
"The suspects are aged between 40 and 50 years old," Free State police spokesperson Brigadier Billy Jones said to the South African Press Association of four of the suspects, adding they were suspected of acts of terrorism.
"Their premises were searched and evidence supporting the investigation was seized."
They were allegedly planning to bomb one of the tents at the ANC’s 53rd national elective conference.
Jones said the arrests were the result of a successful joint law enforcement operation between the Hawks and the crime intelligence, and said the seven would be charged and brought before a court soon.
The group was allegedly planning to bomb one of the big plenary tents used at the ANC's national congress.
The City Press website said "that one of the alleged right wing plotters has made an admission of guilt before a magistrate".
ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu told the City Press he was "not aware" of the bomb threat. "It is good they did not make us aware. This way the conference has continued without disruption. It is a good thing they have been arrested. We have ANC members, journalists, priests and ambassadors here. It would have been terrible if anything had happened."
On Friday the Mail & Guardian reported Crime Intelligence Service were deployed at the conference venue.
The ANC's fears of factional violence at its national conference in Mangaung has allegedly prompted an unprecedented security and intelligence operation, including the deployment of an entire unit from the Crime Intelligence Service.
One intelligence source involved in the security operation told the M&G: "There is more security than at any other conference because of the current political situation. The threats are worse than ever despite security being tight – but threats and violence are highly expected."
Colonel Nkosana "Killer" Ximba, an alleged ally of former CIS boss Richard Mdluli, is managing the operation and "has been in and out of Bloemfontein for the past two months".