Harry Knoesen Crusaders

Photo: File

Harry Knoesen: White national terrorist’s trial resumes

Harry Knoesen’s trial resumed this week. He identified townships and informal settlements occupied by Africans as targets for attack.

Harry Knoesen Crusaders

Photo: File

The trial against alleged terrorist Harry Johannes Knoesen whose mission was to kill Africans in South Africa resumed in the Mpumalanga High Court sitting in Middelburg, on Thursday, 28 April. 

Knoesen is facing charges of high treason, incitement to carry out terrorist attacks in South Africa, soliciting support and or recruiting persons to carry out terrorist attacks in South Africa, unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition.


According to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), the allegations are that, during the period December 2018 to 28 November 2019, Knoesen had developed a deep-rooted hatred for South African persons residing in the Republic, be they South African Citizens or members of èmigrè communities. 

Knoesen sought to justify his beliefs on religious grounds, claiming that God had ordained that he should reclaim South Africa for white people.

NPA Mpumalanga spokesperson, Monica Nyuswa said the highly racial views were his motivation to decide to overthrow the Government and indiscriminately kill African people. 

“To further this end, the 63-year-old planned to attack government institutions and more specifically police and military institutions. He also identified townships and informal settlements occupied by African persons as targets for attack.” 

In order to further these objectives, Knoesen reportedly took over the National Christian Resistance Movement (NCRM), also known as the Crusaders (NCRM) and appointed himself Commander-in-Chief, giving himself the rank of General. 

He explored the possibility of using a biological weapon to infect and kill members of the African population. He also had discussions regarding arranging training in urban warfare.

To solicit support for the organisation and to recruit members to achieve his objectives, he created a Facebook account which was used for this purpose. 

Other social media platforms were also used for the same purpose.  He also established contact with other conservative groups, which did not accept the current non-racial democratic dispensation.  

Nyuswa further said that these groups, however, did not advocate using violence or other unlawful methods to achieve their objectives.  He commenced recruiting members from these groups by claiming that they were taking money from their supporters, but restricting themselves to strictly lawful activities. In this regard, he indicated that he had an attack plan.

“He appealed to persons with previous military experience to join and carry out attacks. He also appealed to current members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to support his activities. 

“It was in the context of this recruitment drive, that he made the Facebook post soliciting support. Numerous other propaganda posts were made for the same purpose. He also created several documents, setting out his attack plans which were intended to be sent to members of the organisation. This recruitment drive led to several like-minded fanatics joining the organisation.”

Monica Nyuswa

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