South Africa jails white supremacist terrorist pastor for plotting attacks against blacks
A court in South Africa has convicted a white supremacist leader and pastor to two life sentences for plotting terrorist attacks against black people in the country, according to local media reports.
The high court in the eastern Mpumalanga province sentenced Harry Johannes Knoesen, 63, on Wednesday after he had been accused of planning biological weapons attacks between December 2018 and Nov. 28, 2019, local website News24 reported.
It reported that Knoesen, a leader of the National Christian Resistance Movement, was sentenced to two life terms and 21 years behind bars for terrorism-related offences.
Knoesen and the group had planned to poison water reservoirs supplying Black communities.
Knoesen was also accused of deep-rooted racism and that he used religion to justify his beliefs.
"He sought to justify his beliefs on religious grounds, claiming that God had ordained that he should reclaim South Africa for white people. These highly racial views were his motivation to decide to overthrow the government, and indiscriminately kill African people," said Monica Nyuswa, spokesperson of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
South Africa emerged from decades of racist apartheid in 1994, when the country held its first multi-racial democratic elections.
Knoesen was arrested on Nov. 28, 2019 after security services uncovered his plot.
Knoesen was charged together with brothers Errol and Eric Abrams, who pleaded guilty to the crimes and were sentenced.