National

Police concede bomb threat tied to Mangaung

Sally Evans

Four men will appear at the Bloemfontein magistrate's court in connection with a right wing threat "directed" at the ANC's Mangaung conference.

Four men will appear at the Bloemfontein magistrate’s court in connection with a right wing threat 'directed' at the ANC's Mangaung conference. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

The men appearing on Tuesday are Hein Boonzaaier, Mark Trollip, John Martin Keevy and Johan Hendrik Prinsloo.

Boonzaaier and Prinsloo are both senior members of the newly established Federale Vryheids Party (FVP), the party’s national secretary Francois Cloete told the Mail and Guardian on Tuesday. It is unclear if Trollip and Keevy are members of the party.

Police have also tied the four men, involved in an alleged right wing bomb plot, to the ANC’s elective conference.

Free State police spokesperson Brigadier Billy Jones confirmed to the M&G that the four will face one charge of high treason and two charges in terms of the terrorism Act. “The threat was definitely directed at the conference,” Jones said this morning, “following further investigation and more evidence which came to light."

This followed reports on Monday from police that the arrest of the men was "totally" unrelated to the elective conference.

An intelligence source told the M&G on Monday that both crime intelligence and counter-intelligence were involved in the operation, which saw the suspects arrested in three separate operations in Limpopo, the Free State and the Northern Cape. Police searched the suspects' premises and seized evidence “linked to the ongoing investigation", Jones said.

The M&G understands the arrests followed information that a group of Afrikaner nationalists were planning to “cause disruptions … possibly bombing the Mangaung university".

 

Cloete told the M&G: "We as the Federal Freedom Party still believe they are innocent because the story of the police is constantly changing. The police must now finally confirm to the FVP what they have been arrested for."

The FVP was formed in October after it registered with the Independent Electoral Commission as a political party.

Cloete said that it was established to promote "self-determination of the Afrikaner/Boer people in a confederal political model".

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The M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism (amaBhungane) produced this story. All views are ours. See www.amabhungane.co.za for our stories, activities and funding sources.


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