The leader of the Boeremag White supremacists group Tom Vorster’s coup plans included blowing up South Africa’s Parliament, the SABC, the SA Reserve Bank headquarters and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange on the same day.
This was some of the evidence included on Friday in treason trial Judge Eben Jordaan’s summary of the case against Vorster.
Jordaan has already found nine of the 20 Boeremag accused guilty of high treason since judgment began on Monday last week.
He found that Vorster, a former Defence Force officer who owned a security company, had taken over from Mike du Toit as leader of the Boeremag early in 2002.
Vorster not only continued with Du Toit’s plans to overthrow the South African government, but also accelerated and expanded on these.
Jordaan said Vorster’s version that he had only drawn up “self-defence” plans was nonsense.
Vorster declared on numerous occasions that the Boeremag was going to “take back” the country, and that Black people would be chased out.
It was clear that he had declared war on the government and was carrying out plans for a violent coup, the judge said.
To this end he had drawn up a war booklet containing, among other things, an oath of allegiance to the Boeremag and its cause, which was used to swear in new Boeremag members.
Members were handed a bullet as a symbol that traitors to the cause would be shot.
Jordaan rejected Vorster’s claims that he had drawn up the booklet years before on the orders of his commander, while he was still a member of the Defence Force.
That Vorster had little time for those who did not want to become part of his “new nation” was clear from evidence.
He had stated that such Whites would be used to “clean up” squatter camps once the Blacks had been chased out of the country.
He told a witness such people would be excommunicated, and their cars confiscated and taken to Iscor to be melted down.
On another occasion, he said all game farms with Black names would be “taken back”.
Self-confessed coup plotter Henk van Zyl testified about a car trip during which Vorster talked about his dream of using a building, such as Armscor’s headquarters in Tshane, to keep a group of women. They would be inseminated with the sperm of Boeremag men to create a new nation.
It was during the same trip that Vorster suggested blowing up comedian Casper de Vries, “because he was not on the right path”.
The court accepted evidence that Vorster had asked one of the State witnesses, Lourens du Plessis, for R100,000 after the arrest of the first three accused, to buy equipment and pay for their legal fees.
Jordaan said it was clear that Vorster was looking for money to finance the coup plan.
The court accepted Van Zyl’s evidence that Vorster had told him, in July 2002, that “D-Day” and the operation he referred to as “Popeye” was getting closer.
He told Van Zyl that Parliament would be blown up at lunch time, followed, two hours later, by other targets, such as the Reserve Bank, taxi ranks in Johannesburg, and Luthuli House (the ANC’s headquarters).
Vorster declared that the Rand would be worth nothing and would be replaced with a new monetary system known as “Die Veld”.
He said motorbikes would have to be bought for use as get-away vehicles after the bombs were planted, cars would have to be hired, and three pipe bombs used for each of the planned bomb blasts.
Judge Jordaan said cars were indeed later hired for this purpose.
The plans described by Vorster included taking over numerous military bases and creating “ghost” units to make it appear like a massive onslaught.
He declared that Mike and Andre du Toit would be set free after the coup and would be given high posts in the “new” government.
Judge Jordaan rejected Vorster’s evidence that he had never given instructions that bombs be manufactured for “D-Day”.
He also rejected Vorster’s version that he had never fled from the police, but had gone into hiding after receiving death threats because he had uncovered a syndicate in the police.
He said Vorster had fled for no other reason than his involvement in the coup plot.