What drove the alleged plotters to try to blow up the ANC's leadership?

The men accused of the Mangaung bomb threat. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

The men accused of the Mangaung bomb threat. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

According to a forensic psychologist in the prison service, a journey into the mind of a right-wing bomber is "brief".

"The first thing you notice when you enter the mind of a white-supremacist terrorist is that it's almost entirely empty," said Dr Rorschach Ramotswe. "Sure, there are a few scraps of data – the best route to take when crawling home from the bar or a rough grasp of the current plot of 7de Laan – but otherwise it's as empty as they believe South Africa was in 1652."

Asked to speculate on how the alleged Mangaung plot took shape, Ramotswe said that right-wing plots were almost always the result of word association, alcohol and e.tv's Friday-night action night.

"Someone orders a Jägerbomb and it gets them thinking about bombs, then Chuck Norris rescues some white people from the clutches of scheming communists … there are a few dots to join, but they get there in the end," he said.

But, he added, he was surprised that the alleged plotters had resorted to explosives.

"Usually it doesn't go that far," he said. "Most of their creative inspiration comes from 7de Laan, so usually we see plans involving a cake sale or a fashion show where the caterer fails to show up and the waitress cracks under the strain of her bad relationship with a boy."

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