'White supremacy cult' trio in court

Independent Online, New Zealand/January 21 2010

Three men, who allegedly belong to a religious cult that believes in white supremacy, have appeared in the Ceres Magistrate's Court on attempted murder charges.

Peter White, 45, Johan Pretorius, 30, and a 17-year-old youth, who cannot be named as he is a minor, also face charges of assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm (GBH), and crimen injuria.

The three, as well as a woman, Linda Koertzee, were tenants in holiday cottages on Grootdam farm.

All four were arrested in December after a spat on the farm resulted in a gun being fired.

Police spokesman Inspector FC van Wyk said police were called and arrested farm owner Jan Roodt after he allegedly fired the shot.

Roodt, 66, then lodged complaints against three men, resulting in the charges against them of attempted murder, assault GBH and crimen injuria.

A day later police, acting on a tip-off, searched the farm and found 17 firearms of different calibres as well as two boxes of ammunition.

Police said the tenants were also found to be in possession of religious literature in which a sect, named the People of Jesurene, proclaim their superiority over all people of colour.

It is understood that the group refused to associate themselves with other race groups.

But Roodt's lawyer, Zirk Mackay, called the issue "a storm in a teacup".

Roodt, who was arrested for the illegal possession of the firearms, appeared in court last week.

He also faces a charge of attempted murder as a result of the spat, and is out on bail of R1 000.

He is expected to appear in court again on May 14.

White, Pretorius and the 17-year-old, who have since moved from the farm, appeared in court on Tuesday.

They were granted bail of R6 000 each.

They are expected to appear in court again on February 17.

Koertzee, who appeared separately from the three men, was found guilty of assault and was fined R1 500 or six months in prison.

It is understood that Roodt allowed them to stay on the farm as they were friends of his wife.

None of the suspects has been linked to other previous or current criminal cases.

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