Two members of the Crusaders, a right-wing extremist group, have been sentenced to eight years in prison for their active participation in plans to overthrow the South African government.
Crusaders duo gets eight years for terrorism
Eric Donald Abrahams, aged 55, and 50-year-old Erroll Abrahams appeared before the Middelburg Regional Court, on Tuesday, to receive their sentence for planning and preparing “to carry out terrorist attacks on government institutions.”
Their plan, the court heard, was ‘greater’ than simply paralysing the state’s law enforcement system and assuming control of the Executive.
It involved the incineration of an entire population of black people. The Crusaders were particularly focused on attacking informal settlements.
However, their plans were foiled when a task team that had been tracking their moves, swooped in and arrested key figures of the right-wing organisation, including the Abrahams and high-ranking extremist Harry Knoesen, in November 2019.
A breakdown of the sentence
According to police spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale, the case was expedited and on Tuesday, the Abrahams were found guilty on six counts. This is the full breakdown of their sentence:
- Count 1: Preparing and planning to carry out terrorist attacks – 15 years’ imprisonment, of which seven years are suspended for five years.
- Count 2: Financing of specified offence (terrorism) – five years’ imprisonment.
- Count 3: Unlawful possession of a prohibited firearm – five years’ imprisonment
- Count 4: Unlawful possession of a firearm- five years’ imprisonment.
- Count 5: Unlawful possession of ammunition – five years’ imprisonment.
- Count 6: Unlawful possession of more than 200 cartridges- five years’ imprisonment.
“Effectively each accused will serve 8 years in prison. All other sentences will run concurrently with the sentence on count 1(preparing and planning to carry out terrorist attacks),” Col. Mogale revealed.
Knoesen’s turn to present his defence before a court will come in February 2021