21:59, 13 June 2012
22:02, 13 June 2012
A right-wing South African stockpiled grenades and ammunition after plotting to attack football stadiums during the 2010 football World Cup, a court heard yesterday.
Police said Johannes Scheepers, 49, was convinced a race war would erupt as the country prepared to host the world’s biggest sporting event.
The alleged far right activist is facing 10 charges relating to terrorism and illegal possession of firearms in relation to the supposed plot.
Green Point stadium in Cape Town, one of the possible targets
South Africa’s Pretoria News reported that police suspected Scheepers was plotting to fire mortars into World Cup stadiums and black-occupied townships when he was arrested in April 2010.
The suspect appeared yesterday before a magistrate in the country’s capital Pretoria, where he pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
The Pretoria News reported that the court heard Scheepers had been part of a self-styled commando group.
It is alleged he had been stockpiling weapons including machine guns and homemade hand grenades ahead of the World Cup.
He was arrested at his farm on April 7 2010 and was charged with plotting attacks between December 16 2009 and April 7 2010.
A charge sheet filed at court alleged a shotgun, M3 semi-automatic, several 9mm pistols, ammunition, tear gas, and hand grenades were discovered at his home.
The court yesterday heard evidence from two crime intelligence agents who testified anonymously against Scheepers.
Mr Scheepers had planned to fire mortars into World Cup stadiums and to attack townships with a black majority population
One, who was identified only as Mr A, told the court he met the suspect on his farm in August 2009 and witnessed him testing mortars.
The man said the suspected right wing fanatic threatened to kill him if he did anything to undermine his plot.
Mr A said: ‘Scheepers took out a hunting knife and said if I was a spy he would kill me.’
The witness told the court he had later met Scheepers in Pretoria and became convinced about his determination to attack stadiums and townships.
A second witness, Mr B, testified that the suspect had a vendetta against the police and wanted to kill as many of them as he could.
The suspect, who allegedly founded a new right wing organisation known as the New Boer Commando, was arrested in a police raid at his farm east of Pretoria.
Police believe he had plotted a major terror campaign against the World Cup and poor township suburbs.
Scheeper’s lawyer, Dirk Human, yesterday claimed the evidence against his client had been planted.
The suspect’s arrest came amid a massive security clamp down in South Africa ahead of the 2010 football World Cup.
The country was praised for its handling of the tournament, which passed off without major incident.
Scheepers remains in custody and the trial continues.