A South African court convicted five ring-wing extremist leaders of treason for plotting to assassinate former South African President Nelson Mandela.
In a trial that lasted 10 years, ringleader, Mike du Toit and four other men were sentenced to 35 years in prison by a Pretoria High Court. The men were members of a group called 'Boeremag' -- a gang of apartheid loyalists who were implicated in an attempt of a coup in 2002. A number other Boeremag members received lesser sentences.
(image)According to BBC ,witnesses testified that Boeremag tried to assassinate Nelson Mandela by setting off a bomb along a route he was scheduled to travel on. Fortunately for Mandela, he changed his choice of vehicles that day and proceeded to his destination by helicopter.
South Africa has come a long way since democratically electing its first black President 20 years ago, but the country still has some ways to go. Even so, most South Africans are not extreme in their racial beliefs -- apartheid is over -- and extremist groups like Boeremag and the Afrikaner Resistance Movement have little support either from the country's majority of 40 million blacks or its 5 million white minority.
The alleged ringleader of Boeremag is Mike du Toit -- a former university professor. Du Toit was the first of the group to have been convicted of treason last July.
According to the prosecution Du Toit created a blueprint for ridding South Africa of blacks and implementing an all white military government. Du Toit's plans detailed how he and his gang would lure blacks toward the country's northern border by baiting them with parcels of food while using the country's Indian population as allies before shooting them once their mission was accomplished.
Du Toit's maniacal plans included other heinous acts like: blowing up a dam and shooting down an aeroplane to reach their goal of ridding South Africa of its native black population.
Almost 200 people testified against Boeremag -- including some informants from within the group. Ironically, the trial took place in the same courtroom that Mandala was sentenced to 27 year back in 1964.