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19-year-old sentenced for racial killings in South Africa

August 27, 1997

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) _ A 19-year-old man described as a right-wing Christian fundamentalist was sentenced Tuesday to 40 years in prison for a pair of bombings last Christmas Eve that killed four people and seriously injured 57 others.

Cape High Court Justice Braam Lategan said the case was the worst he had dealt with, and that a death sentence would have been justified for Daniel Coetzee had it not been banned.

The bombings at a shopping center in the Western Cape province town of Worcester hit largely mixed-race people doing last-minute shopping.

Coetzee told the court Monday he and three co-defendants, who go on trial next month, belonged to a white-supremacist cult called Israel Vision. It believed any non-white was an ``animal of the field″ and that was why they had ``no scruples in murdering them,″ he said.

The judge said Coetzee had shown no true remorse.

Coetzee was convicted of four counts of murder, along with charges of attempted murder and terrorism.

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