One of the so-called Boeremag members who was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment for his part in the first treason trial under the new dispensation feels he is a rehabilitated man and should be released earlier than the law allows, but the Gauteng High Court thinks otherwise.

Kobus Pretorius is the son of Dr Lets Pretorius, who is also serving a lengthy jail term for treason. Kobus’ two brothers, Johan and Wilhelm, are also serving jail terms for their part in the Boeremag’s activities.

A report in The Mercury notes Kobus denounced his family halfway through the trial and blamed his upbringing for his crimes.

He was one of the Boeremag’s bomb manufacturers. He applied to the High Court to be released on parole as he claimed he had been rehabilitated. While he openly admitted during the trial that he did not like black people, Kobus said he now had many black friends in jail.

He told Judge Nelisa Mali, he had no further business being in jail. He asked that certain provisions of the Correctional Services Act be amended to make it possible for a prisoner to be released on parole earlier if ‘exceptional circumstances’ were present.

But Mali said Judge Eben Jordaan took into account all the mitigating factors when he sentenced Kobus to 20 years. She said the court was fair to him at the time, as the prosecution had called for a life sentence.

Mali commented that the SCA in previous cases said a period up to half a prison term was an acceptable norm when considering parole for a prisoner who was sentenced to a fixed jail term (not life imprisonment).

Full report in The Mercury (subscription needed)