The self-professed leader of the National Christian Resistance Movement (NCRM), Harry Knoesen, was arrested on Thursday by the Hawks at his Mpumalanga home on terrorism-related charges.
The Hawks are also on the hunt for Riana Heymans who is wanted for questioning on the activities of the NCRM.
In a statement on Friday, Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said they have been gathering intelligence on the NCRM, also known as the Crusaders, for the past two years.
“The arrest follows a two-year extensive intelligence-led investigation into the alleged terrorist plot apparently co-ordinated by the group to target national key points, shopping malls and informal settlements,” Mulaudzi added.
Knoesen, 60, is a former national defence force member and retired pastor. He was apprehended and charged for terrorism-related activities in contravention of the Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorism and Related Activities Act as well as the unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.
His case has been postponed to December 2 for legal aid representation.
A search at his other residence in the Eastern Cape, according to the Hawks, uncovered a possible explosives factory, electronic devices and documents as well an unlicenced firearm and ammunition that have been seized for further analysis.
Meanwhile, the Hawks have secured a warrant of the arrest for Heymans.
The Hawks are searching for Riana Heymans who is wanted for questioning on the activities of the NCRM. (Supplied/Hawks)
Mulaudzi sounded a strong warning that “any member of the public found to be harbouring her” was in ‘contravention of section 12 of the act”.