The leader of a right-wing Afrikaner group plotted to kill Nelson Mandela and bring down the government before grabbing control of the country in a coup, a court has heard.
The former university lecturer was the first of 22 defendants on trial at Pretoria High Court to be found guilty of high treason in hearings that have lasted nine years and taken evidence from almost 200 witnesses. Under the previous apartheid government, which backed capital punishment, he would now face execution.
Witnesses told the court how in a series of meeting with co-plotters at barbecues and fast food outlets, Mr du Toit discussed luring black citizens towards the country's northern border using food as bait, and making allies of its Indian and Cape coloured people, but then shooting them once the coup achieved its aims.
Document 12, as Mr du Toit's "war plan" was known, was discovered on his computer after police raided his house in October 2001, according to South Africa's Business Day newspaper.
Mr du Toit discussed creating a "trigger" for his coup by blowing up a major dam, shooting down a Boeing aeroplane to create a "World Trade Centre situation", assassinating Mr Mandela or cutting electricity to major cities, the paper added.
"President Nelson Mandela would have to be murdered because he was still seen as a peace figure," one part of the document is reported to have read.
Witnesses told the court how Mr Du Toit had recruited people within the military and police services and the national power provider Eskom to help with his plot.
The private army, using their own weapons, stockpiles of diesel and 1,000kg of explosives, had instructions to seize military bases and major broadcasters to announce their takeover, the Mail & Guardian reported.
But some attempts to recruit security insiders, including a high-ranking military official, failed and the plotters were being watched by intelligence agencies.
State witness, Colonel Koos Holtzhausen, infiltrated the organisation and told how Du Toit assured him the organisation had "massive support" and that his plan was "100 per cent workable".
Another, Willem Grobler, testified that the plot leader claimed to be able to call up 450 men from the rural areas to come to Pretoria and shoot black people indiscriminately to create chaos.
In October 2002, the Boeremag plotters are alleged to have been involved in nine bomb blasts on a mosque, railway stations and petrol stations in Soweto which killed one woman and seriously injured her husband.
Du Toit was one of the first of the 22 defendants to be arrested after the blasts. Speaking yesterday, Judge Eben Jordaan said he was confident that the state witnesses who implicated him were telling the truth.
"We can come to no other conclusion but that accused number one (Du Toit) was a main role player in planning to overthrow the existing government," he said, according to Business Day.
The defendants face charges of treason, murder, attempted murder, sabotage, terrorism and illegal weapons possession. Six have pleaded not guilty, two have not entered pleas, one refused to plead, and thirteen have challenged the court's jurisdiction, alleging that the post-apartheid constitution and government of South Africa are illegitimate. By Aislinn Laing, Johannesburg