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Saturday, September 26, 2020
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    Harry, pastor or terrorist?

    Knoesen is the retired pastor and former SANDF member.

    PRETORIA – A self-professed leader of the National Christian Resistance Movement (NCRM), also known as the ‘Crusaders’, has been arrested for alleged terrorism by the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation’s Crimes Against the State (CATS) team and National Crime Intelligence on Thursday, 28 November.
    The arrest comes following a two-year extensive intelligence led investigation into the alleged terrorist plot apparently coordinated by the group to target national key points, shopping malls and informal settlements.
    The 60-year-old, Harry Johannes Knoesen was apprehended at his residence in Middelburg, Mpumalanga on 28 November and charged for Terrorism related activities in contravention of Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorism and Related Activities (POCDATARA), unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.
    The subsequent search at a residence in the Eastern Cape, uncovered a possible explosives factory, electronic devices, documents an unlicensed firearm and ammunition that were seized for further analysis. Knoesen is the retired pastor and former SANDF member. The case has been postponed to Monday, 2 December, for legal aid representation. Meanwhile, the team also secured a warrant for the arrest of Riana Heymans.
    Heymans was subsequently arrested on Friday evening with two other accomplices, Eric and Erol Abrahams in Kliprivier, Johannesburg, by an integrated team of Crime Intelligence operatives and Hawks members from Serious Organised Crime Investigation.
    Various firearms and ammunition, documents and other items were confiscated by the Criminal Record Centre (CRC) for further probing.
    The three suspects appeared on Monday at the Middelburg Magistrate Court with Harry Johannes Knoesen (60) and were charged with contravening the Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorism and Related Activities (POCDATARA) Act as well harbouring a wanted suspect in terms of the same Act.
    The case was postponed until 21 January 2020 and the suspects remanded in custody. Their arrest follows investigations by the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation and Crime Intelligence. Various firearms and 5300 ammunition of different calibres, documents and other items were confiscated by the Criminal Record Centre (CRC) for further probing.
    The following appeared on thesouthafrican.com:
    “Harry Knoesen is no stranger to controversy and has been on law enforcement’s radar for quite some time. The retired military man and self-professed pastor, is better known for propagating racially charged rhetoric via social media. In the past, Knoesen has released a series of controversial videos in which he calls for white South Africans to take up arms and declare war on the black majority.
    Knoesen also confirmed that he was ‘in discussion’ with other ‘resistance movements’, saying:
    “It’s important for us to stay together as a white nation. I know there are many movements. I met with some of the leaders around the table and we sat and we spoke and halfway into speaking I told them we’re not on the same page. The reason being they want to defend and see what happens.
    Reality is, you cannot wait to see what the enemy does to you. You cannot wait for the enemy to wake up. It’s too late already. The Crusaders haven’t got a waiting plan, we’ve got an attack plan.”
    Following the release of Knoesen’s videos, leader of the now-defunct Black First Land First movement in Mpumalanga, Elias Makwana, laid charges of incitement to violence, high treason and crimen injuria against the head of the Crusaders.
    Knoesen is an unapologetic supporter of apartheid and has, on more than one occasion, claimed to have been ‘called upon by God to defeat the devil that has stolen from whites.”
    The NCRM has a telegram group in Secunda with only a small member count.
    Riana Heymans and Harry Knoesen placed several messages on this group. A meeting was planned for 16 October to have the attack plan explained by General Knoesen. It is clear that this meeting would have been in secret as a secure venue was sought. The Bulletin has no information to verify if the planned meeting took place at all.
    Riana Heymans made it clear in a post on Telegram NCRM Secunda that: “the NCRM Crusaders are an Attack Force. The only one in SA. With a plan that will be executed in due course.”
    She also stated that the day is fast approaching and no one in Secunda is ready.
    Continue reading The Bulletin for updates on this case.

    Riana Heymans / Image supplied by Hawks

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    Harry, pastor or terrorist?