"Boere-ninja" and the alleged plot to bomb the ANC
A “general” in a far-right movement calling himself the “Boere-Ninja” has emerged as a key character as police probe an alleged right-wing conspiracy to wipe out the ANC leadership.
He is Jaco Scherman, owner of Panzer Protection in Springs on the East Rand, and a police reservist.
This week he admitted to City Press that he had trained two of the four alleged far-right conspirators but denied involvement in any of their plans.
But Cornelia De Wet, a right-wing farmer currently in custody, claims ammunition and explosives that police found on her farm in May this year belong to Scherman.
This week, De Wet, who is incarcerated in the Middelburg prison, contacted City Press and said she had been part of Scherman’s far-right group.
She claimed terror acts had been planned in her presence.
She said she had resigned from the organisation shortly before her arrest and claimed she had received death threats. She had informed the police of the group’s existence.
De Wet, 36, was arrested a short while later on the farm Kwaggafontein near Carolina after police found
R1 rifle bullets, detonators and cortex wire on the property.
She is due in court again in January.
“Scherman’s Panzer company is nothing else than a front to train rightwingers for war and terror,” charged De Wet this week.
She told of witnessing plans to blow up schools in predominantly black neighbourhoods and taxi ranks, among other areas.
De Wet was a member of the Leeuwag and the Boere-beskermingsforum (BBF) [Lion Guard and Boer Protection Forum], both militant right-wing movements of which Sherman had been a general.
The leader and founding member of the BBF was Johan Prinsloo, one of the four right-wingers who were arrested by police this week and charged with terrorism and treason.
Prinsloo, Mark Trollip, Hein Boonzaaier and Martin Keevy appeared in court in Bloemfontein this week because they had allegedly wanted to blow up the ANC conference with mortars.
The state claims there was a second plan to shoot Zuma, ministers and other ANC dignitaries at close range.
The men’s case was postponed to 8 January for a bail application.
De Wet claimed the four right-wingers had wanted to fire mortars in the Free State stadium in Bloemfontein where the ANC celebrated its centennial as early as January this year.
However, they had been unable to acquire mortars in time and had moved their target to the ANC conference held this week on the campus of the Free State University, she charged.
Scherman was also a member of the Vrye Burgers-weerstandsbeweging, an organisation which, according to him, trains rightwingers “so we can protect ourselves”.
Scherman admitted to City Press he had ties with Prinsloo and Boonzaaier, but insisted they had done nothing wrong.
“It’s true that I had provided training to these men,” he said. “I trained them in close combat and that sort of thing.
He rejected suggestions that he was the mastermind behind the group. He said he didn’t know anything of their alleged plans.
He did not respond to later questions asking for his response to De Wet’s claims.
Scherman’s alleged role and the fact that he hadn’t been arrested caused a stir in right-wing circles this week.
City Press was told that he was questioned by police on Thursday morning and had agreed to turn state witness. Scherman vehemently denied this.
Barend Pienaar, the vice-president of the far right Federale Vryheidsparty (FVP), this week said he had also heard that Scherman had turned state witness.
Another well-known figure in far-right circles, Johan Lubbe, told City Press the group of rightwingers who had been arrested had openly talked about their plans.
He has published on his website an e-mail by another BBF general in which he talks about the planning of the terror attack in Bloemfontein.
The police did not respond to requests for comment.