Court hears of plot to kill Mandela as part of coup
THE leader of a right-wing Afrikaner group plotted to kill Nelson Mandela and bring down the government before grabbing control of South Africa in a coup, a court has heard.
Mike du Toit, a member of the Boeremag ('Afrikaner Force'), drew up a document that served as a "blueprint" for a revolution that would see the majority black population driven out of South Africa and a whites-only military government installed.
The former university lecturer was the first of 22 defendants on trial at Pretoria High Court to be found guilty of high treason yesterday in hearings that have lasted nine years.
Witnesses told how in a series of meeting with co-plotters at barbeques and fast-food outlets, Du Toit discussed luring black citizens towards the northern border, using food as bait, and making allies of its Indian and Cape coloured people -- then shooting them once the coup had achieved its aims.
Document 12, as Du Toit's "war plan" was known, was discovered on his computer after police raided his house in 2001, according to South Africa's 'Business Day' newspaper.
Du Toit discussed creating a "trigger" for his coup by blowing up a major dam, shooting down a Boeing aeroplane to create a "World Trade Centre situation", assassinating Mr Mandela or cutting electricity to major cities, the paper added.
"President Mandela would have to be murdered because he was still seen as a peace figure," one part of the document is reported to have read.
Witnesses told the court how Du Toit had recruited people within the military and police services and the national power provider. But attempts to recruit security insiders failed and the plotters were being watched by intelligence agencies.
In October 2002, the plotters are alleged to have been involved in nine bomb blasts on a mosque, railway stations and petrol stations in Soweto, which killed one woman and seriously injured her husband.
Judge Eben Jordaan said yesterday he was confident that state witnesses who implicated Du Toit were telling the truth.
The defendants face charges of treason, murder, attempted murder, sabotage, terrorism and illegal weapons possession. (© Daily Telegraph, London)