Boeremag trial man dies

One of the accused in the Boeremag treason trial, Herman Scheepers, has died after a long battle against a brain virus he contracted in prison.

One of the accused in the Boeremag treason trial, Herman Scheepers, has died after a long battle against a brain virus he contracted in prison.

Scheepers, 52, has been absent from the trial since last year because of his ill health.

He was granted bail in July last year after four years in custody. This followed an urgent application by his lawyer, Paul Kruger, after which Scheepers returned to his home in Ermelo, Mpumalanga.

He became seriously ill after contracting a brain virus in jail and had to be admitted to hospital when he suffered an epileptic fit.

The court was told in January that Scheepers was so ill and had such a bad prognosis for recovery that he was confined to bed and would not be able to attend the trial, which is in its fourth year.

A former senior official at Eskom, Scheepers died at his home in Ermelo yesterday morning.

He and 21 other treason trialists have pleaded not guilty to 42 charges ranging from high treason and terrorism to sabotage and murder.

The state alleges they had plotted a right-wing coup to topple the government. It also alleges that Scheepers had in 2002 attended several Boeremag meetings at which the sabotage of power stations, power lines and water-storage tanks were discussed.

He allegedly made suggestions about how it could be done and, according to the state, had not only helped to make time-switches for bombs but also took part in an aborted mission which would have kicked off a right-wing coup. - Sapa

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