Factbox - Who are South Africa's Boeremag?


  • World
  • Thursday, 26 Jul 2012

(Reuters) - A leader of South Africa's "Boeremag", or "Boer Army", Mike du Toit, was found guilty of treason on Thursday by plotting to overthrow the African National Congress (ANC) government and assassinate former President Nelson Mandela.

Following are some facts about the shadowy group:

* WHAT IS THE BOEREMAG?

- The "Boeremag" was a rag-tag group of white apartheid loyalists opposed to the black-led government set up after the multi-racial elections that brought an end to apartheid in 1994.

- All those arrested were Afrikaans-speaking descendants of Dutch and French settlers who arrived on the southern tip of Africa three centuries ago.

* AIMS:

- The group hoped to overthrow the ANC and expel South Africa's black majority, most of them to Zimbabwe. South Africa's ethnic Indian population would be sent back to India by boat, the court was told.

- The group considered using the huge office complex that housed Armscor, the apartheid state's weapons company, as a breeding farm to create a new white nation.

Group leader Tom Vorster said the Armscor headquarters would be an ideal place to "keep a bunch of women, isolate them and inseminate them with Boeremag members to start a new nation".

* BOMBINGS IN 2002:

- Nine explosions hit Soweto, a sprawling black township near Johannesburg, on October 30, killing a woman. A tenth blast in a town near Pretoria injured two people.

- A letter bearing a red and black logo and the legend "Boer Nation Warriors" was sent to newspapers claiming the group had carried out the bombings and threatening more violence.

- Vorster and 21 other suspected Boeremag members were arrested shortly afterwards and charged with the bomb attacks and plotting the assassination of Mandela.

Sources: Reuters

(Reporting by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit)

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