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Trial of S. African White Supremacy Group Postponed - 2003-06-09

The treason trial of 22 white South Africans accused of plotting to overthrow the government has been postponed for the third time because of legal representation issues.

The judge granted a delay until June 17. Some defendants want to retain their hired lawyers even though they have applied for government legal assistance. South Africa's legal aid board says the accused must retain the public defenders appointed for them.

The men are accused of belonging to a white-supremacy group called the Boeremag. They face charges including terrorism, sabotage, high treason, and murder in connection with a series of bomb blasts last year that killed one person.

They are also accused of planning to overthrow the government to establish an all white republic. Prosecutors say they wanted to start a race war by assassinating former President Nelson Mandela.