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Alleged leader of The National Christian Resistance Movement ‘the Crusaders’ arrested for terrorism plot


Media Statement from Directorate of Priority Crimes Investigation (HAWKS)
South African Police Service

PRETORIA – A self-professed leader of the National Christian Resistance Movement (NCRM) also known as the ‘Crusaders’ has been arrested for alleged terrorism by the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation’s Crimes Against The State (CATS) team and National Crime Intelligence on Thursday, 28 November 2019.

The arrest comes following a two year extensive intelligence led investigation into the alleged terrorist plot apparently coordinated by the group to target national key points, shopping malls and informal settlements. 

The 60-year-old, Harry Johannes Knoesen was apprehended at his residence in Middelburg, Mpumalanga yesterday and charged for Terrorism related activities in contravention of Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorism and Related Activities (POCDATARA), unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.

The subsequent search at his other residence in the Eastern Cape, uncovered a possible explosives factory, electronic devices, documents an unlicensed firearm and ammunition that were seized for further analysis. Knoesen is the retired pastor and former SANDF member. The case has been postponed to Monday, 02 December 2019, for legal aid representation.

Meanwhile, the team has also secured a warrant for the arrest of Riana Heymans as per attached picture. Any member of the public found to be harbouring her is in contravention of Section 12 of the POCDATARA Act. She is wanted for questioning on the activities of the NCRM. Members of the public are urged refrain from getting involved in such activities and anyone who might know her whereabouts should contact the Investigating officer Warrant Officer Jaco Koekemoer on 0827789157 or Lieutenant Colonel Koos de Klerk 0714812982.


Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi
082 373 2408