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Terrorists’ leader sentenced to two life terms


Media Statement
Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (HAWKS)


PRETORIA – The Hawks’ National Head, Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya (Dr/Adv) expressed his satisfaction with the sentence meted out on Harry Johannes Knoesen who received two life terms and additional 21 years imprisonment for planning terrorist attacks in South Africa.

On 27 September 2022, the Middelburg High Court sentenced Knoesen (64) to life imprisonment for contravening the Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorism and Related Matters Act (POCDATARA), life imprisonment for incitement to carry out terrorist attacks in South Africa, 15 years for recruiting people to carry out terrorist attacks and three years’ imprisonment for each count of unlawful possession of firearms as well as unlawful possession of ammunition.

Knoesen who is the leader of the National Christian Resistance Movement also known as ‘Crusaders’ was found guilty on 6 June 2022 after several court appearances. He was arrested in November 2019 after an intensive investigation by the team of Hawks’ Crimes Against The State into his terrorist plot.

The accused prepared and planned to carry out terrorist attacks on government by overthrowing the democratically elected government, targeting the national key points, attacking the military and police installations as well as informal settlements occupied by African people.

He attempted to appeal the sentence but his leave to appeal was denied.


Brigadier Thandi Mbambo
082 455 6030