Harry Knoesen, a 64-year-old white South African pastor was sentenced on September 28 to life in prison. He is accused of having plotted “terrorist” attacks against “Africans” and aiming to overthrow the government.
Harry Knoesen, is the self-proclaimed leader of the far-right National Christian Resistance Movement (NCRM). The 64-year-old man “was found guilty of plotting and planning terrorist attacks,” the National Prosecutor’s Office (NPA) said. He was sentenced twice to life imprisonment and an additional 21 years in prison. This decision is not subject to appeal.
Government, one of Knoesen’s main targets
Harry Knoesen’s plans for “attacks on non-white people” included the townships, which were the result of apartheid and were predominantly black, as well as the police and army.
But he was arrested before he could carry them out in November 2019. According to the NPA, the accused, who had pleaded not guilty, explained that “God had ordered him to reclaim South Africa for the whites.
“These strongly racist thoughts” led him to want to “overthrow the government and indiscriminately kill Africans,” according to the NPA.
Harry Knoesen, charged with three other acts
The 64-year-old pastor was also convicted of incitement to carry out an attack, solicitation or recruitment of persons to carry out such attacks, and unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.
During his arrest, documents related to the preparation of the attacks were discovered and weapons were seized. In particular, he had studied the possibility of using biological weapons with the aim of “infecting and killing members of the African population”, the prosecutor’s office said.
It should be noted that two other NCRM members, brothers Errol and Eric Abrams, who admitted to the crime, were also arrested and convicted in this case.