A South African judge overseeing the Boeremag treason trial has dismissed an application from three of the accused to be tried as prisoners of war.
Judge Eben Jordaan explained that brothers Johann, Willem and Kobus Pretorius could not be viewed as prisoners of war because they did not warn civilians that bombs were about to got off near them.
“The core (of the protocol) remains that only the targeting of military targets is permissible. The targeting of civilian targets is in conflict with the provisions of Protocol I,” Judge Jordaan said.
As previously reported,, the brothers made the application last April because they saw themselves as soldiers of the South African Boere Republic engaged in a war against the ANC government. The Boervolk sent a defacto declaration of war to the government known as The Blue Letters demanding the return of the former Boer republics.
“I am of the view that what the applicants did according to their own admissions does not justify the term legitimate combatants,” Judge Jordaan said. “Their modus operandi was to blow up civilian targets in the night. An organised military force surely supposes more than that.”
Judge Jordaan said argument that the accused had been under a command structure was not supported by evidence. Their military commander, Tom Vorster, had apparently been abandoned because of a lack of trust before the bombs were planted.