Harry Knoesen Crusaders

Photo: File

Who is Harry Knoesen? White nationalist ‘terror mastermind’ to face trial

With two members of the far-right Crusaders group now behind bars, a third – Harry Knoesen – will contest the terror charges filed against him.

Harry Knoesen Crusaders

Photo: File

Tuesday was a crucial day for SA’s law enforcement officials, after they secured a conviction for two far-right terrorists. Eric and Erroll Abrahams, part of the Crusaders group, were both handed eight-year jail sentences. But a third suspect isn’t going down without a fight, and Harry Knoesen will challenge the charges filed against him.

Terrorism bust: White nationalists jailed on Tuesday

SAPS confirmed via a statement that Harry Knoesen will be put on trial in the High Court in February 2021. He has pleaded not guilty to a raft of accusations, including domestic terror charges and violations of the Firearms Control Act. The Crusaders movement had plotted to kill black South Africans by bombing several informal settlements.

“The case against the other accused, Harry Knoesen will continue on 1 February 2021 for High Court trial date after he pleaded not guilty… Eric Donald Abrahams and Erroll Abrahams were previously arrested in Klipriver, Gauteng and remained in custody until the finalisation of the case.”

“The Court has further ordered in terms of section 103 of the Firearms Control Act, that the two men jailed today are unfit to possess firearms, ammunition, competency certificates, licences, authorisation, and permits. The National Head of the DPCI, Godfrey Lebeya commended the team of investigators and prosecutors for the work that has been done so far.”

Who is Crusaders ‘mastermind’ Harry Knoesen?

Harry Knoesen is an ex-military man with a very colourful history. His pro-apartheid views have landed him in trouble before, but he’s believed to have taken things to an extreme level. Dubbed the ‘mastermind’ of Crusaders, Knoesen wants to clear his name in court – but that could prove to be much easier said than done…

  • It’s understood that the 60-year-old has been in contact with several other neo-nazi groups.
  • “Factories” used to construct explosives, detonators, and firearms were discovered in connection with the Crusaders.
  • Harry Knoesen was found in possession of documents pertaining to national keypoints, shopping malls, and informal settlements.
  • Knoesen has served in SANDF and acts as a “pastor” to share his white nationalist beliefs.
  • He shot to infamy with a series of videos calling for white South Africans to take up arms and declare war on the black majority.
  • Finally, the suspect is ‘an unapologetic supporter of apartheid’ and has previously claimed to have been ‘called upon by God to defeat the devil that has stolen from whites’.
One of the photos released of Harry Knoesen prior to his arrest – Photo: Supplied