South Africa: Crusaders 'Terror Plot' - Cape Town Man Granted R1 000 Bail

A Cape Town man who is suspected to be part of the National Christian Resistance Movement (NCRM), also known as the "Crusaders", has been granted R1 000 bail after making his first appearance in court on Friday.

Randall Esau, 46, appeared in the Blue Downs Magistrate's Court on charges of possession of explosives, an unlicensed firearm and ammunition, said National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila.

He added officers had received information about firearms at a shop in Voortrekker Road, Kuils River, and applied for a search warrant.

When they arrived at the shop on Thursday, they were let in by Esau's son.

"The investigators saw a bag that the son said belonged to the accused. The police called the son's father to the shop and he admitted upon arrival that it was his bag. The police found three grenades and a blank firearm with eight rounds."

Ntabazalila said it was believed Esau was a member of the Crusaders and Boeremag.

"The suspect is believed to have links with the other four suspects who have already been arrested and charged for alleged terrorist activities," said Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi earlier on Friday.

The case was postponed until March 27 for further investigation.

Harry Knoesen, the self-professed leader of the NCRM, was arrested at his Mpumalanga home on terrorism-related charges last week.

Possible explosives factory

This followed a two-year Hawks investigation into an alleged terrorist plot "apparently co-ordinated by the group to target national key points, shopping malls and informal settlements", Mulaudzi said.

Knoesen, 60, is a former national defence force member and retired pastor. He was apprehended and charged for terrorism-related activities in contravention of the Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorism and Related Activities Act as well as the unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.

A search at his other residence in the Eastern Cape, according to the Hawks, uncovered a possible explosives factory, electronic devices and documents as well as an unlicensed firearm and ammunition that were seized for further analysis.

His arrest was soon followed by three others, including that of Riana Heymans, in Kliprivier, Johannesburg.

"Various firearms and ammunition, documents and other items were confiscated by the Criminal Record Centre [CRC] for further probing," Mulaudzi said.

Heyman, 54, together with brothers Eric Abrams, 55, and Errol Abrams, 49, appeared briefly with Knoesen in the Middelburg Magistrate's Court on Monday.

They will remain in police custody until their next court appearance on January 12, 2020.

News24

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: News24Wire

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 600 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.