A white Pastor was recently convicted in an alleged plot to poison and kill thousands of Black people in South Africa.
According to the Associated Press, Harry Johannes Knoesen was found guilty of high treason, incitement to carry out violent attacks, and recruiting people to commit attacks in a South African court on Jun. 6.
His organization, the National Christian Resistance Movement, reportedly explored using biological weaponry to kill Black people through infection. Prosecutors said one of these methods included poisoning the reservoirs that supply water to Black communities. They also alleged that his plans were motivated by “highly racial views” and that he wanted to condone his actions with his religious beliefs, saying it was his duty to “reclaim South Africa for white people.”
Additionally, the Middelburg High Court found Knoesen guilty of unlawful possession of firearms as investigators reportedly discovered weapons and ammunition when he was arrested in 2019. Police and intelligence services then dismantled the pastor’s group and its cells across South Africa. They’ve also detained some of the organization’s leaders.
As such, Knoesen was convicted on evidence provided by witnesses, including group members who were previously jailed after being convicted of similar crimes.
He reportedly used Facebook to encourage violence against Blacks and to convince South African military members to join his group so they could perform the heinous attacks. The now 61-year-old even admitted to sharing “recipes” to produce explosives with his followers on the social media platform. His plans were so intricate that he identified specific areas where Black South Africans lived to carry out the mass killing.
“To further this end, he planned to attack government institutions and more specifically, police and military institutions,” spokeswoman for the National Prosecuting Authority, Monica Nyuswa, told the AP.
Knoesen is scheduled to return to court for sentencing proceedings on Jun. 10.