Crusaders Suspects Appear in South African Court on Terrorism Charges

PRETORIA – Johannes Knoesen (60), Riana Heyman (54) and two brothers – Eric Abrams (55) and Errol Abrams (49) – appeared briefly at the Middelburg Magistrate Court on Monday on charges related to terrorism and for harbouring a wanted suspect.

Self-professed Crusaders leader Harry Johannes Knoesen
Self-professed Crusaders leader Harry Johannes Knoesen. Source: SAPS

The four suspects who are members of the National Christian Resistance Movement (NCRM) – also known as the ‘Crusaders’ – were arrested late last week.

Their arrests followed lengthy investigations by the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation and Crime Intelligence.

Various firearms and 5,300 ammunition of different calibers, documents and other items were confiscated by the Criminal Record Centre (CRC) for further probing, the South African Police Service (SAPS) said in a statement.


riana heymans christian resistance movement
Riana Heymans has been arrested. Photo: SAPS

Today they appeared in court on charges of 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.

All four were remanded in custody pending their next appearance on 21 January 2020 at the same court.

Investigations are still continuing, says SAPS.