Two members of the ‘Crusaders’ right-wing organisation – brothers Eric Donald Abrahams (55) and Erroll Abrahams (50) – were today found guilty, convicted and sentenced in the Middelburg Regional Court for contravention of Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorism and Related Matters Act (POCDATARA).
The men were found guilty of preparing and planning to “carry out terrorist attacks on government institutions and the African population in South Africa on 28 November 2019”, said SAPS in a statement.
The two formed part of the Crusaders organisation that planned and conspired to overthrow the South African Government and replace it with a Government led by the organisation. They planned to achieve this through attacks on military and police installations as well as on informal black settlements. They had also planned to stage terror attacks at SA shopping malls during Black Friday last year.
On 28 and 29 November 2019, the Crimes Against the State Section of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation arrested the two accused in Klipriver Gauteng. They have remained in custody ever since.
On 8 December 2020, they received the following sentences:
- Count 1: Preparing and planning to carry out terrorist attacks – “Fifteen (15) years’ imprisonment, of which seven (7) years are suspended for five (5) years.
- Count 2: Financing of specified offence (terrorism) – 5 years imprisonment.
- Count 3: Unlawful possession of prohibited firearm – 5 years imprisonment
- Count 4: Unlawful possession of a firearm- 5 years imprisonment.
- Count 5: Unlawful possession of ammunition – 5 years imprisonment.
- Count 6: Unlawful possession of more than 200 cartridges- 5 years imprisonment.
Each man will serve 8 years in prison. All other sentences will run concurrent with the sentence on count 1 (preparing and planning to carry out terrorist attacks).
The Court has further ordered that both accused are unfit to possess firearms, ammunition, competency certificates, licences, authorisation and permits.
The National Head of the DPCI, Lt Gen Godfrey Lebeya commended the team of investigators and prosecutors for the work that has been done so far. The case against the other accused, Harry Knoesen will continue on 1 February 2021 for High Court trial date after he pleaded not guilty.