Alleged coup plotter 'penniless, desperate' - Magistrate

2017-05-08 13:30
Elvis Ramosebudi makes his way to the cells at the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court. (Nation Nyoka, News24)

Elvis Ramosebudi makes his way to the cells at the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court. (Nation Nyoka, News24)

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Johannesburg - Family members of alleged "coup plotter", Elvis Ramosebudi say they are relieved that he was released on bail on Monday.

His father, Stanley Ramosebudi, said his son would not hurt an ant, and that they were devastated by his arrest and the overwhelming media attention.

The Johannesburg Magistrate's Court granted the 33-year-old unemployed father R3 000 bail.

"We knew nothing of what he did, so we will hear what he did straight from him," his father said.

"This was a very big shock, because we were not expecting this. He went for an interview, but when he came back home, he was in handcuffs."

READ: 'Coup plotter' granted bail

Strict bail conditions

Magistrate Vincent Ratshibvumo said Ramosebudi would not pose a danger to society, but imposed strict bail conditions.

He was arrested in Midrand on April 26 on an initial charge of conspiracy to commit murder. It was later changed to incitement to commit murder.

He allegedly sent letters soliciting money to finance a plot to assassinate supposed beneficiaries of state capture.

These included President Jacob Zuma, four members of Gupta family, three cabinet ministers, and the head of National Prosecuting Authority.

In a letter, he wrote to Ajay Gupta in March, he allegedly asked for money to assassinate people supporting "white monopoly capital".

He mentioned axed deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas, former public protector Thuli Madonsela, former African National Congress MP Vytjie Mentor and former GCIS CEO Themba Maseko.

"Everyone in this country is worried about state capture, so I think he is one of them," Ramosebudi said outside court after the ruling. He refused to comment on his son's mental health.

Ratshibvumo said the facts suggested that Ramosebudi approached people to incite them to commit murder. He described him as a "penniless young man who seems desperate to make quick money, no matter how dirty".

Political ideology

There was nothing to suggest he was capable of carrying out his alleged aims and that no weapons were found at his home. He worked alone, had no political ideology, and his plans seemed immature as he made no attempt to conceal his identity and he changed his targets.

Ramosebudi's lawyer, Mpesi Makhanya, said he was happy with the ruling.

"We always contended that the State did not have sufficient grounds to oppose bail, and even the court alluded to that today. It is clear that from the onset, the State never had any concrete grounds in law to oppose the application," Makhanya said.

NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said they could change the charges against him if new information about the case came to light.

Ramosebudi's bail conditions include having to attend all court appearances, no contact with any witnesses or people he had listed as state capture beneficiaries.

He was not allowed to change his address without notifying the investigating officer, and had to report to the Rietgat police station in Mabopane every week.

He had no previous convictions or pending cases against him and intended pleading not guilty. His trial is expected to start on July 6.

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Read more on:    elvis ramosebudi  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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