Harry Knoesen is the leader of the so-called Crusaders group

South African police have arrested three members of the National Christian Resistance Movement (NCRM) for an alleged terror plot.

The leader of the so-called Crusaders group, Harry Knoesen, and two others were found with firearms, ammunition and explosives after a tip-off that they were about to launch a string of attacks on government buildings, shopping centres and informal settlements where most black people live, police.

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The trio have made a brief appearance in court. They were not asked to plead, and were remanded in custody until their next court appearance on 21 January.

Police said they were still investigating.

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In April this year, in a video that was posted on social media, Knoesen called on white people to strike first and start a war as this was the only way “white people can save themselves”.

He also said he had a “godly” instruction to take back what the devil had stolen from white people through politics.

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Knoesen is a retired pastor and former member of the South African defence force.

White-minority rule ended in South Africa in 1994, when the black majority was allowed to vote for the first time.