‘Battle of Mangaung’ bombers to reappear in court

The men accused of plotting the assassination of ANC president Jacob Zuma and other senior Cabinet members at the ANC's 53rd national conference in Mangaung in December are expected to reappear in the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court on Friday, in the second round of their bail application.

Mark Trollip, Johan Prinsloo, Martin Keevy and Hein Boonzaaier appeared in court on Tuesday afternoon for their formal bail application. The case was postponed until Friday when arguments will be heard. They are charged with high treason and conspiracy to commit terrorism.

The state alleges that the plot, dubbed the “Battle of Mangaung”, was devised by the four, who allegedly planned to open fire on a packed tent housing the ANC’s conference delegates, as well as the party and country’s leadership. 

The four have denied the claims as well as alleged meetings that took place during which the “plot” was conceived.

They argued on Tuesday that their business interests suffered while they were in prison. They have been kept in custody since their arrest on December 16.

Afrikaner liberation ideology
Two of the men, Prinsloo and Boonzaaier, are members of the newly-established political party, the Federale Vryheidsfront. The party has distanced itself from the allegations against the two and said they would be suspended.

At their court appearance on December 18, state prosecutor Shaun Abrahams outlined the elaborate plot which overlapped with Afrikaner liberation ideology and the establishment of an independent Boer nation.

An email seen by the Mail & Guardian from one of the accused, addressed to a well-known Afrikaner right-winger, suggested that at least one of the four believed militancy would be necessary to achieve the Boer nation’s political goals.

The email outlined the closure of state-owned institutions, cutting of water supply to townships and the threat of bloodshed.

In December, Abrahams told the court the alleged assassination plot would coincide with the December 16 commemoration of the Battle of Blood River – when the sunlight struck an unnamed monument at noon.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Sarah Evans
Sarah Evans

Sarah Evans interned at the Diamond Fields Advertiser in Kimberley for three years before completing an internship at the Mail & Guardian Centre for Investigative Journalism (amaBhungane). She went on to work as a Mail & Guardian news reporter with areas of interest including crime, law, governance and the nexus between business and politics. 


Tension over who’s boss of courts

In a letter, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng questions whether Justice Minister Ronald Lamola has acted constitutionally

SABC sued over ‘bad’ clip of Ramaphosa

A senior employee at the public broadcaster wants compensation for claims of ‘sabotage’

Soundtrack to a pandemic: Africa’s best coronavirus songs

Drawing on lessons from Ebola, African artists are using music to convey public health messaging. And they are doing it in style

In East Africa, the locusts are coming back for more

In February the devastating locust swarms were the biggest seen in East Africa for 70 years. Now they’re even bigger

Press Releases

New energy mix on the cards

REI4P already has and will continue to yield thousands of employment opportunities

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders