NEWS & ANALYSIS

Boeremag betrayed all democratic SA stands for - Dene Smuts

DA MP says their amateurish efforts doesn't make their raw racism any less reprehensible (Aug 20)

Boeremag betrayed everything SA stands for

The Boeremag have betrayed everything that democratic South Africa stands for and everything that South Africans mean to each other.

The delusional and amateurish nature of their doomed effort ten years ago to trigger a race war does not make the raw racism that motivated them any less disgusting and dangerous. Extracts from Wilhelm Pretorius's diary quoted by Judge Jordaan are reprehensible.

The costs of their actions have been considerable.

They have cost two young South Africans their only parent, Claurina Mokone, with devastating effect. The Pretorius diary makes it clear that Soweto was bombed because they had not been able to kill Mr Mandela. Claurina died instead of Nelson Mandela. 

Her children are wonderful young people who are succeeding in life despite all the odds. But it has not been easy, and this year is bitterly difficult. They will not comment until they have been advised by their pro bono lawyers, and their privacy must be strictly respected.

In addition to the emotional cost, there has also been a financial cost. This trial has been the longest and most expensive in our history, with public funds going toward Legal Aid for the accused for nine years while application after absurd application delayed the case. The Boeremag will continue to tax our patience, as well as the public purse, if they now go on appeal. Yet we will continue to foot the bill as we uphold the very constitutional rights they tried to overthrow, but hypocritically invoked whenever it suited them.

So, for example, the Pretorius brothers Wilhelm and Johan (accused numbers 19 and 21) successfully asserted their right to their very own legal representative under section 35 of the Bill of Rights (as opposed to sharing a lawyer with three others). That representation (which the courts ruled necessary for a fair trial) came at the expense of the representation of other South Africans, because only a certain amount of public funds can be voted for Legal Aid each year. 

Note: Dene Smuts is the founding trustee of the Mokone Children's Trust which has assisted the Mokone children since they were orphaned. Dan Maluleke, former ANC MP, is a fellow trustee.

Statement issued by Dene Smuts MP, DA Shadow Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, August 20 2012

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