Boeremag prosecution rests four years on

The state has finally closed its case in the marathon Boeremag treason trial after more than four years, but it could take several months, if not years, for the defence to conclude its case.

The state has finally closed its case in the marathon Boeremag treason trial after more than four years, but it could take several months, if not years, for the defence to conclude its case.

Defence advocates this week said they would launch an application for their clients' discharge on some of the 42 charges against them.

The trial started in Pretoria's Palace of Justice amid great public interest and tight security four years ago, but has since moved to the new high court building in Vermeulen Street. Only a few family members and the occasional journalist attends the hearing.

Almost 160 witnesses have testified for the state, including several alleged coconspirators and a police informer who claimed he had infiltrated the inner circle of the Boeremag.

The trial record so far consists of more than 28 000 pages.

The state alleges that the 21 accused were part of a rightwing plot to violently overthrow the ANC government and were responsible for a series of bomb explosions, including one at a railway line in Soweto in 2002, that caused the death of a woman in a nearby informal settlement.

The coup plot allegedly also included a plan to murder Nelson Mandela using a car bomb.

The accused have all pleaded not guilty to the 42 charges, including high treason, terrorism, sabotage, murder, attempted murder, the illegal possession of explosives, firearms and ammunition, and of causing a series of explosions. - Sapa

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