April 18 2010 at 07:48AM
By De Wet Potgieter
Police this week swooped on members of an extremist right-wing organisation, the Suidlanders, as part of an investigation into plans to sabotage the soccer World Cup.
Raids have taken place in Pretoria and Mpumalanga and follow heightened racial tensions after the murder of AWB leader Eugene Terre’Blanche and the recent outbursts by ANC Youth League president Julius Malema.
Earlier this week police also swooped on the Worcester home of Frederick Rabie, a former lieutenant colonel in the old civilian force commandos, in the Cape. He was arrested and police discovered an arms cache, including explosives and thousands of rounds of ammunition at his house.
The bust comes a week after the arrest of the head of security at the Worcester Magistrate’s Court, Henry Harding, following the discovery of a cache of explosives, firearms, ammunition and drugs in underground storerooms at the magistrate’s court.
Rabie was given bail and will appear in court tomorrow.
The police investigation into the suspected sabotage plot is linked to an e-mail calling on foreigners to boycott the World Cup that is being circulated worldwide. The e-mail is linked to a website, http://www.boycott-2010-world-cup.co.nr/
It talks of a war against white South Africans and carries graphic details and bloody photographs of victims of crime.
Claiming to reveal information suppressed by the SA Police Force (SAPF) and the media, the e-mail urges foreigners to stay away from South Africa during the World Cup.
Claiming that the country is on the verge of a full-blown revolution that would lead to civil war, the website says: “The time has come for people to realise they cannot be on the sideline any longer and everybody’s participation is needed to defend the last bastion of a true Christian nation against total annihilation.”
Sources this week confirmed that alleged plans by right-wing elements to “destabilise” South Africa in the run-up to the World Cup were being taken “seriously”.
Police spokesman Colonel Vish Naidoo refused to comment on the investigations, but said that the security forces were prepared for any eventuality during the World Cup.
The Suidlanders has seen its membership rocket since the murder of Terre’Blanche.
Its underground structures have also begun mobilising.
The organisation has contacted former members of the special force and is also taking stock of arms and ammunition caches, according to a source within the Suidlanders.
“They are busy recruiting former members of the police’s Security Branch, including from the old Koevoet and the ranks of seasoned soldiers, to launch similar actions of the old security branch with its dirty tricks department.”
This included fomenting xenophobic violence in the black townships and destabilising schools and universities.
Johann le Roux, the Suidlander national co-ordinator, said on Friday that the organisation was not a political movement. “We are mainly there for the safety and security of our people,” he said.
“We continuously evaluate the security situation in the country and we do have a contingency plan ready for our people once anarchy and bloodshed become a reality in South Africa.”
Le Roux confirmed that they had begun a series of countrywide meetings to inform people about their activities.
On Monday night more than 6 000 people turned up at the Hercules High School west of Pretoria. On Wednesday more than 4 000 people were at a meeting in Krugersdorp, and 3 000 for a meeting on Thursday in Vanderbijlpark.
The Suidlanders’ website warns people the government cannot curb the tide of violent crime in the country and that there is no way that genocide will be stopped by the regime.
It claims that the “100 000” people at Terre Blanche’s funeral were living proof that a turning point had come for “whites”.
“The revolutionary utterances from people like Julius Malema are a clear indication of what goes on in the minds of the black masses… ‘Kill the Boer’.”
On Friday ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe warned about the “rise of the right wing”.
Mantashe said the right wing had become more “confident and willing to take chances”.
This was evidenced in organisations like AfriForum using the courts to reverse progress, he said.
He said the right wing had used ANCYL president Malema as a “trigger” to push its own agenda.
“All comrades must actually move out of that space so that the true intentions of the right wing can be discovered,” he said.
Brandishing the “vierkleur” and the apartheid-era flags should not be dismissed as a “small issue”.
“It is an express defiance of progress and the intention to reverse progress… their intention is going to be exposed without any scapegoat from us.”
This article was originally published on page 1 of Tribune on April 18, 2010