The Star 02 December 2019
A crackdown on a terror group that planned a “black genocide” has revealed how it used social media to recruit members.
Harry Johannes Knoesen, the leader of the extremist National Christian Resistance Movement (NCRM), also known as the Crusaders, has since deleted his Facebook page, which gave an insight into how the alleged Christian terrorist recruited new members to the group
The Hawks arrested Knoesen last Thursday for his alleged plans to attack informal settlements, shopping centres and national key points in an effort to “bring about a black genocide.”
An alleged key accomplice, Riana Heymans, was arrested in Johannesburg on Friday after hiding from the police.
She was found at the home believed to belong to one of the members of the terror organisation, which fronted as a church.
Two other people were also taken into custody for allegedly hiding her.
Before the NCRM’s Facebook page was deleted, Knoesen used his personal account, which has also been deleted, to recruit members.
In one of his social media posts from his personal account, the former pastor and member of the SANDF said: “When the Crusaders NCRM have turned the table every home of our ruling race’s safe will look something like this.
“Every home will be permanently battle ready. National service, commandos and camps compulsory for men and women.
“You will keep your military issue weapons and ammo at home in your safe. Cadets back in schools Self-defence taught at school. We will be a ready nation.”
Knoesen further posted that no political party would save the white race and he claimed his movement was the only vehicle for white minority survival.
“We, the Crusaders NCRM, will take back and give to those who where robbed by BEE, AA or just because they are white.
“We will do to the enemy 1000-fold what he has done to us and what he has threaten us with,” the radical cleric stated in another post.
In a video message, he accused BLF of being the enemy and that black people should be killed.
Mpumalanga Black First Land First leader Elias Makwana laid charges of incitement to violence, high treason and crimen injuria against Knoesen earlier this year.
He said he opened the case after receiving a video from an unknown phone number threatening BLF leaders in Mpumalanga.
Makwana said NCRM was one of many white far-right organisations operating in Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
“There are a huge number of organisations such as these. We have been very vocal about this. Here in Lydenburg there is a place where they used to train.
“They have got cells, they are even taking their children to shooting ranges,” said Makwana.
In a post on February 22, Knoesen said: “My white minority race, before my Creator God I promise stand by me and the Crusaders NCRM and this will never, ever happen in our country.”
“Criminals will fear to walk our streets Illegals will fear to cross our borders. Every household will be a battle-ready army Military Issue weapons at home. No Political Party can save and Secure our Race!!! I promise I will restore Order!!!” (sic)
After two years of investigations, the Hawks finally pounced on the 60-year-old man at his residence in Middelburg, Mpumalanga, according to Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi.
Police also discovered what was believed to be an explosives factory packed with electronic devices, unlicensed firearms and ammunition at the home one of Knoesen’s followers in the Eastern Cape.
More firearms were also discovered at the Joburg south home Heymans was hiding at.
“Firearms and ammunition, documents and other items were confiscated by the Criminal Record Centre,” said Mulaudzi.
The four were due to appear in the Middelburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday on terrorism charges.