The first treason trial in South African history post apartheid regime is under way amid high security at the Pretoria High Court, with a group of alleged white supremacists accused of trying to overthrow the African National Congress (ANC) led government.

30 October, Just after midnight on 30 October 2002 eight bomb blasts rocked Soweto. Seven of the blasts occurred on main commuter railway lines running through the township. The damage to the railway lines was estimated at approximately R2 million.
31 October, South African Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota says that a small extremist white group in the armed forces and police could be behind the bombing in Soweto.
11 November, Right-wing group, the Boeremag claimsresponsibility for a series of bombings in the black township of Soweto. The Boeremag sent an e-mail to the Afrikaans language "Beeld" newspaper saying it had planted the bombs which killed a woman and injured her husband on 30 October.
November, Arrest of 26 men alleged to be Boeremag members. About 1000kg of explosives found.
19 May, A Boeremag treason trial starts amid high security at the Pretoria High Court, but it is postponed at the request of defence lawyers, who asked for time to sort out legal matters for their clients.Thirteen of the men challenge the court's jurisdiction, claiming the government is illegitimate.
26 May, Judge Eben Jordaan granted a postponement after the Legal Aid Board undertook to reconsider applications for assistance from the accused. The trial was postponed till 9 June 2003.
17 June, The treason trial of 22 alleged Boeremag members is postponed for the fourth time over unresolved legal aid issues.
05 August, 13 of the 22 treason accused entered a special plea that the court has no jurisdiction over them.
30 January, The Boeremag treason trial heard that some of the tape recordings secretly made by police during several Boeremag meetings may be usable. This was despite earlier claims by the prosecution that all of the tapes, which police spy Johan C. Smit claimed he had helped to make, were inaudible and could not be used.
12 February, The possibility of obtaining a formula for poison to put into water reservoirs in black townships had been discussed at a Boeremag meeting, a police spy tells the Pretoria High Court. Smit, the "shadow Boer" who claimes he had infiltrated the Boeremag's inner circle while secretly spying for the police, makes this claim during cross-examination by Daan Mostert, who represents alleged Boeremag member Adriaan van Wyk.
13 February,A statement by a police spy, Smit and state witness in the Boeremag treason trial concerning an unrelated murder investigation resulted in heated argument and an application to gag the media.
04 October, One of the Boeremag treason trial accused is rushed to a district surgeon after apparently suffering a nervous breakdown in the Pretoria High Court.
08 October, The Boeremag treason trial is delayed in the Pretoria High Court after an alleged dispute between suspected leader Tom Vorster and a fellow accused.
19 October, The fourth state witness in the Boeremag treason trial will not be able to maintain his anonymity after the judge refused an application to keep his identity a secret. Pretoria High Court Judge Eben Jordaan says the witness, Deon Crous, had not proved the existence of exceptional circumstances to warrant such an order, which would limit the freedom of the press.
21 October, A witness in the Boeremag treason trial describes preparations for a coup attempt, including renting cars for car bombs, stockpiling ammunition and making petrol bombs with beer bottles and government-issue condoms.

Original caption: Nelson Mandela visits Morris Isaacson School where the Soweto student riots started in 1976. Source:

26 October, Self-confessed coup plotter Deon Crous testifies in the Pretoria High Court that he and five of the Boeremag accused had decided to assassinate former SA President, Nelson Mandela with a home-made bomb after reading in a newspaper that he would open a school near Tzaneen in Limpopo. A bucket containing ammonium nitrate, diesel, a detonator and timing device was placed in the road and would have been set off when the group saw Mandela's car coming down the road. The plan is abandoned when Mandela arrives at the school by helicopter.
28 October, Boeremag members had prayed and assured each other they were doing the right thing before planting bombs in Soweto in October 2002, the treason trial in Pretoria High Court heard.
Self-confessed coup plotter Deon Crous tells the court he and five of the Boeremag - Herman van Rooyen, Rudi Gouws and the Pretorius brothers Johan, Kobus and Wilhelm - had planned and planted 10 bombs at a bridge, railway lines, a mosque and a taxi rank in the Soweto area.
29 October, Deon Crous tells Pretoria High Court he helped to manufacture 1.5 tons of explosives for five powerful car bombs. The Boeremag allegedly had planned to set the bombs off in Pretoria and Johannesburg in December 2002.
31 August,Nine Boeremag treason trialists demanded a trial-within-a-trial in Pretoria High Court, claiming prison authorities were behind the disappearance of vital documents.
17 March,An Imam's wife tells the Pretoria High Court she saw white men drive a white Volkswagen golf "extremely slowly" past a mosque in Soweto, a week before it was bombed.
03 May,Rudi Gouws and Herman van Rooyen escape from custody while on trial at the Pretoria High Court.
15 May, The treason trial of the remaining Boeremag accused continues in the Pretoria High Court. Judge Eben Jordaan ordered that the trial continue in the absence of two accused (Gouws and Van Rooyen) who escaped two weeks before the trial resume.
19 May, The Boeremag trial marks its third anniversary. South Africa's first post-apartheid treason trial started on 19 May, 2003 amid high security at the Palace of Justice. It has since moved to the Pretoria High Court for logistical reasons.

Boeremag members, Rudi Gouws and Herman van Rooyen after they were recaptured, January 2007. Source:

20 January,Gouws and Van Rooyen are recaptured, and are set to appear in court to face charges of escape and the illegal possession of firearms.
June, The State finally closes its case after calling 158 witnesses. Numerous legal wrangles, including several applications about the conditions in jail and many dealing with Legal Aid Board disputes, have stretched the trial into one of the longest running criminal trials in South African legal history.
05 September,The judge in the Boeremag treason trial rules that enough evidence had been presented by the state on which a reasonable person might convict the 21 accused on charges of high treason, terrorism and sabotage. Judge Eben Jordaan dismissed applications by nine of the accused for their discharge on all of the 42 charges against them.
17 September, Defence counsel in the Boeremag treason trial complain bitterly that someone seemed to be listening in on their conversations during private consultations inside the courtroom. One of the defence advocates, Bernard Bantjes, says he had recently found out that private consultations, when the court was not sitting, were allegedly being recorded, sent to a central computer and then erased once a week.
02 October, The judge in the Boeremag treason trial on Tuesday urged one of the accused and his legal representative to come to some sort of arrangement after the advocate withdrew from the trial, causing yet a further delay. Advocate Barry van der Merwe, who represented alleged former Boeremag military commander Tom Vorster, withdrew without giving any reasons.
21 January,One of the Boeremag treason trial accused, Kobus Pretorius, told a Pretoria High Court judge he had had an epiphany in jail and wanted to be released on bail so that he could "serve the community of South Africa". He told Judge Khami Makhafola he was "a new man" after accepting Jesus Christ as his saviour.
07 September,Strijdom Square shooter Barend Strydom tells the Boeremag treason trial that he still believed black people were not human. He was called to the stand in defence of one of the 22 treason-trial accused, Adriaan (At) van Wy.
22 December, Gauteng police dismissed media reports that explosives and weapons found on a plot in Rustenburg were linked to the Boeremag.
05 May,After more than two months in the witness stand, alleged Boeremag leader Tom Vorster told the court he would not testify any further.
26 August,Jordaan dismisses an application by brothers Herman, Johan and Kobus Pretorius to be declared prisoners of war so that they could be handed over to the SA National Defence Force. They saw themselves as “soldiers in a liberation struggle” embroiled in an armed struggle aimed at self-determination for the “Boerevolk”.
April, The prosecution handed in written heads of argument of over 1 800 pages, summing up the State’s case.
31 May,An attempt by five of the 20 Boeremag treason trialists to escape from custody at the Palace of Justice, in Pretoria, is foiled.
01 June, The Boeremag treason trial’s oldest accused, Vis Visagie, 72, is rushed to hospital after falling ill in the dock. One of his co-accused, Dr Lets Pretorius, treated Visagie in court, but said tests would have to be done to ascertain what was wrong. Visagie was then taken to hospital.
13 June, The North Gauteng High Court, in Pretoria, has ordered that four of the Boeremag treason-trial accused may no longer be held in leg irons overnight.
03 July,The Boeremag trial is on hold as the accused spent the day either in their cells or at home celebrating Ascension Day, as they had done in the past few years.
23 November,Final legal argument in the Boeremag treason trial is finally concluded in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.
04 May, A man convicted of harbouring two escaped Boeremag triallists is questioning the Constitutional Court whether they (Herman van Rooyen and Rudolph Gouws) were legally prisoners.
16 July, Judge Niel Tuchten dismissed the bail application of Gerhardus "Oom Vis" Visagie on the grounds that he had tried to escape before and might abscond. Visagie is one of 22 accused facing 40 charges ranging from high treason to sabotage and murder.
03 May,The Constitutional Court argues on whether the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) was wrong to impose a higher sentence on someone convicted of harbouring two of the Boeremag accused. 
23 July, Details of the Boeremag's plot to overthrow the African National Congress (ANC) led government, and chase black people and Indians out of the country resumed in the North Gauteng High Court.
Judge Eben Jordaan started sorting through nine years of legal documents while handing down his judgment in the Boeremag trial.
24 July, Details of a five-phase plan to terrorise black South Africans and form a whites-only government were heard on day one in the Boeremag judgment in the North Gauteng High Court.
Judge Eben Jordaan on Tuesday dismissed claims that the Boeremag accused did not receive a fair trial.
Judge Eben Jordaan rejects the suggestion by the 22 accused that police informants, who were used as state witnesses, had acted as provocateurs. He said the accused were not put off when they realised that there were informers in their ranks.
25 July, Judge Eben Jordaan continues his summary of the case against accused one in the Boeremag trial. The 22 Afrikaner right-wing group members face numerous charges including high treason and terrorism in the North Gauteng High Court.
Boeremag accused Mike du Toit is identified as a leading member of the right-wing group's inner circle in the North Gauteng High Court.
26 July,The North Gauteng High Court heard how the Boeremag planned to stockpile diesel, food and medical supplies in the run up to their attempted coup. Judge Eben Jordaan starts delivering his judgment in the nine-year-long trial.
27 July,Judge Eben Jordaan finds that all the evidence against accused number one, Mike du Toit fitted together like a puzzle. 
Du Toit is found guilty of high treason in the North Gauteng High Court after a marathon nine-year-long trial.
The brother of Boeremag coup mastermind, Mike du Toit is found guilty of high treason in the North Gauteng High Court. Andre du Toit is linked to the inner circle that would have carried out the plan to overthrow the government.
30 July, Boeremag accused Rooikoos du Plessis is found guilty of high treason in the North Gauteng High Court on Monday. Judge Eben Jordaan spent the last week delivering his ruling in the nine-year-long marathon trial. 
31 July, Boeremag accused Adriaan van Wyk is found guilty of treason in the North Gauteng High Court. According to Judge Eben Jordaan, van Wyk was a member of the Boeremag's inner-circle and was a leader in its central combat force.
3 August, Boeremag leader Tom Vorster's coup plans included blowing up Parliament, the SABC, the SA Reserve Bank headquarters and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange on the same day, the court heard.
13 August, Judgment in the treason trial of a group of Afrikaner right-wingers was postponed in the High Court in Pretoria.
20 August, The last accused in the Boeremag treason trial in the North Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, is found guilty of treason. Kobus Pretorius admitted he was wrong and has apologised to the country.
29 October, The leader of the Boeremag, a right wing Afrikaner organisation involved in sabotage,Tom Vorster and five members of its bomb squad which blew up numerous targets in 2002 were sentenced to an effective 25 years' imprisonment by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. Bombers Herman van Rooyen, Johan and Wilhelm Pretorius, and Rudi Gouws received the same sentences as Vorster. The third Pretorius brother, master bomb maker Kobus Pretorius, was sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment, of which 10 years were suspended.
Boeremag leaders Mike du Toit, Dirk Hanekom and the Pretorius brothers' father, Dr Lets Pretorius, were each sentenced to 30 years' imprisonment, of which 10 years were conditionally suspended for five years. Mike du Toit's right-hand man, Andre du Toit, and Dion van den Heever were sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment of which 10 years were suspended.
Rooikoos du Plessis and Jurie Vermeulen, who also played important roles in planning the coup, got 15 years' imprisonment, of which 10 were suspended. One of the Boeremag's most active members and the Boeremag chaplain, 74-year-old Vis Visagie, was sentenced to five years of correctional supervision.
Five of the Boeremag members who played a lesser role, including the youngest member Jacques Jordaan, walked out of the court free men after being given suspended sentences. They are Adriaan van Wyk and former defence force officers Giel Burger, Jacques Olivier, and Pieter van Deventer.

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