He is not just crazy, he is a cunning businessman - Gupta lawyer on murder plot

2017-04-28 17:04
Ajay and Atul Gupta. (Muntu Vilakazi, City Press)

Ajay and Atul Gupta. (Muntu Vilakazi, City Press)

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Johannesburg - The lawyer for the controversial Gupta family, Gert van der Merwe, believes that the man who allegedly plotted to assassinate senior government officials, who are viewed as so-called state capture beneficiaries, may be mentally unstable.

"He is not just crazy, he is a cunning businessman. I saw an offer which he made to the Gupta family to pay him a certain amount of money to assassinate Thuli Madonsela," Gert van der Merwe said on Friday.

He was responding to a list of names that was circulated on social media shortly after Elvis Ramosebudi appeared at the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on charges of conspiracy to commit murder.

A list of names in the "state capture" letter included Gupta brothers Ajay, Rajesh and Atul, SAA board chairperson Dudu Myeni, Cogta Minister Des van Rooyen, State Security Minister David Mahlobo, National Prosecuting Authority boss Shaun Abrahams, Zuma's son Duduzani, Sars boss Tom Moyane and former Eskom boss Brian Molefe.

They were to be allegedly assassinated by undercover coup plot snipers.

Letters

A highly-placed source has confirmed to News24 that President Jacob Zuma and members of the Gupta family were the targets of an alleged assassination plot by Ramosebudi.

The source, who has intimate knowledge of the case, provided News24 with two letters, both dated October 25, 2016 - one talking about plots against those involved in state capture, and the other talking about targeting those supporting "white monopoly capital".

Speaking from France, Van Der Merwe said he approached police about three months ago.

"I helped my client with an affidavit and we went to the police station and we laid charges against this person and I also requested the police to contact the people on the list which were Thuli Madonsela, Mcebisi Jonas and another person."

Portion of the letter. (News24)

On his thoughts on Ramosebudi, Van Der Merwe said: "He got introduced to the internet and then suddenly started writing to everyone. The offer he made to the Gupta family was to kill Thuli and Mcebisi for a preposterous amount of about R30m or R300m, I cannot even remember."

Van Der Merwe said whether the allegations were real or not, "we could not take a chance and not report the matter. I was concerned about the safety of the people on the list and that is why I asked the police to contact them and check on them," he said.

Ramosebudi is expected back in court on May 2 to meet with a legal aid attorney who would advise him on whether to apply for bail.

Magistrate Vincent Ratshibvumo on Friday noted a request by the State to have Ramosebudi mentally examined.

Psychiatric evaluation

Ramosebudi remains in custody until his next appearance.

The Right2Know campaign on Friday afternoon expressed its concern on the matter saying that the evidence available did not suggest a "credible threat to our constitutional democracy".

"The Hawks claim this individual is linked to two structures, absurdly named 'the Anti-State Capture Death Squad Alliance' and the 'Anti-White Monopoly Capitalists Regime'. It is not credible that genuine covert structures would be so descriptively named.

"We also note the allegation that this individual approached various big businesses seeking donations to fund assassination attempts of various prominent individuals. It is not credible that a genuine covert plot would involve open efforts at fundraising."

The organisation, in a statement, also noted that Ramosebudi should be taken for psychiatric evaluation.

"The unusual circumstances around this case suggest that mental illness is a real possibility. We do not find it credible that these activities are part of a bona fide threat to our constitutional democracy."

The organisation said it had little confidence in the Hawks.

"The track record of the Hawks does not inspire confidence. This includes the attempt, in October 2015, to charge protesters at Parliament with treason, as well as last year's ludicrous attempt to prosecute former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on charges that were then dropped.

"We also cannot ignore the vague but persistent allegations made by senior members of the security cluster, including the Minister of State Security David Mahlobo, that there are unnamed 'rogue elements' and a 'third force' allegedly using the courts, the media and civil society organisations to 'destabilise' the country. This dangerous narrative must end."

Here are the names as they appear on the letter:

Names

Occupation

Jacob Zuma

President South Africa

Ajay Gupta

State Capture and Oakbay Investments

Rajesh Tony Gupta

State Capture and Oakbay Investments

Atul Gupta

State Capture and Oakbay Investments

Varun Gupta

State Capture and Oakbay Investments

Dudu Myeni

Chairperson South African Airways

Des van Rooyen

Minister Co-operative Governance

Collen Maine

ANC Youth League president

Shaun Abrahams

Head National Prosecuting Authority

Mosebenzi Zwane

Minster Mineral Resources

Ace Magashule

Premier Free State Province

David Mahlobo

Minister State Security

Duduzani Zuma

Oakbay Investments and Jacob Zuma son

Tom Moyane

South African Revenue Service

Fana Hlongwana

State capture convenor

Kebby Maphatsoe

Deputy Defence Minister (MKMVA)

Brian Molefe

Eskom chief executive officer

Ben Ngubane

Eskom Chairperson

Anoj Singh

Eskom chief financial officer

 

 

Read more on:    r2k  |  crime  |  state capture

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