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  • White Extremist Found Guilty In Plot To Overthrow South African Government

    White Extremist Found Guilty In Plot To Overthrow South African Government

    Senior man watching priest sermon online on digital tablet

    Source: Luis Alvarez / Getty

    The world is filled with many types of people and personalities, but unfortunately, that also includes those with malicious intentions with motives set on spreading evil. In particular, white supremacist violence remains a problem at home and abroad.

    Recently, news broke that 61-year-old Harry Johannes Knoesen, former pastor and leader of the National Christian Resistance Movement, was found guilty of high treason for plotting attacks and even forming a biological weapon to kill Black people in South Africa.

    As reported by the Associated Press, Knoesen’s primary goal was to overthrow the government and wipe out hundreds of South Africans due to racist ideologies he would use to recruit others into his morbid plan of attack. The terrorist group even highly considered poisoning water reservoirs in Black communities by using a biological weapon.

    Knoesen was also found guilty of unlawful possession of firearms charges. Authorities discovered weapons and ammunition during his initial arrest in the town of Middelburg.

    “To further this end, he planned to attack government institutions and, more specifically, police and military institutions,” Monica Nyuswa, a spokeswoman for the National Prosecuting Authority, told The Associated Press.

    Knoesen also attempted to use cyber warfare to his advantage by recruiting former members of South Africa’s military over Facebook. It was on the popular social media platform that he also admitted in his testimony to sharing recipes in order to manufacture explosives.

    Facebook has faced criticism for its failures with content moderation in other countries. In 2019, Facebook announced a ban on white extremism on the platform. Thankfully, Knoesen’s plans were thwarted with his November 2019 arrest, which resulted in a dismantling of cells throughout the country.

    A 2021 article by Open Democracy highlighted the global white nationalist networks building a pipeline from other countries to America. The article describes the white South African connection to QAnon. QAnon was started by a South African web developer who as of last year was still fueling the fire on the social media app Gab.

    As Open Democracy explained, the QAnon style theories specifically appealed “to existing ethno-nationalist and Afrophobic attitudes and perspectives among white South Africans. Knoesen’s failed attempt isn’t the only such effort since the end of Apartheid.

    “The recent rise in information-sharing between US and South African far-right groups expose some of the new channels through which transnational white supremacist anxieties and imaginaries are actively reinforcing their ideological connections and more importantly, how they continue to mutually reinforce and invigorate one another,” wrote Open Democracy.

    SEE ALSO:

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    Khamisi
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Afrii Diaspora Dialogue

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