The Boeremag

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Tuesday 05 August 2003, 10:43 Makka Time, 7:43 GMT


The Boeremag (meaning farmer's force in Afrikaans) is a right wing organization whose goals are the overthrow of democratic majority rule in South Africa and a return to the days of apartheid.

The trial has resumed in South Africa of 22 members of a key ultra-conservative group accused of fomenting murder, "terrorism" and attempting to assassinate former president Nelson Mandela.

The ultra-conservative Afrikaner group called Boeremag (Boer Force) is facing 42 charges ranging from murder to “terrorism”.

The 22 members of the Afrikaners group are accused of planning a series of bombings in the predominantly black Johannesburg township of Soweto last year.

The Boeremag trial, on for the last three months, has been marked by a huge police presence and the cordoning off of streets around the court building.

The arrest of the ultra-conservatives snuffed out a possible campaign against the current post-apartheid leadership.

According to the Institute for Security Studies in Johannesburg, the ultra-conservatives or right-wingers had the potential to take the country to the brink of a race war, but that looks unlikely now.


The rightwingers also allegedly plotted to assassinate former president Nelson Mandela.

The Institute in a document titled “'Volk' (nation), Faith and Fatherland" said “the police successfully identified and arrested key Boeremag suspects, bringing to a halt the bombing campaign before it resulted in any major loss of life (one person was killed in the Soweto bombings)”.

"With the arrests the police seriously disrupted the plans of the Boeremag," the document stated.

It was "a lethal cocktail, given the damage religiously-inspired terrorism has caused in other parts of the world."

--Institute for Security Studies document

The Boeremag's sabotage campaign, ultimately aimed at mounting a coup, was driven by a philosophy based on extreme nationalist views and a sense of God-given purpose, the document stated.

It was "a lethal cocktail, given the damage religiously-inspired terrorism has caused in other parts of the world," it said.

Afrikaner leader Nicolaas van Rensburg, who died in 1926, the inspiration behind the Boeremag, is said to have prophesied that a black leader would die, and a man "in a brown suit (will) rise very unexpectedly to gather the nation together and take matters in hand by means of a coup d'etat."

Letters had also been sent to the media and political parties announcing a "state of war", signed by the "Interim Government of the South African Boer Republic".