No evidence at this stage suggests it was a coup plot - NPA

2017-05-02 16:17
Elvis Ramosebudi. (Gulshan Khana, AFP, file)

Elvis Ramosebudi. (Gulshan Khana, AFP, file)

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Johannesburg - There is no evidence at this stage that suggests that Elvis Ramosebudi allegedly hatched a plot to assassinate President Jacob Zuma, his Cabinet ministers and members of the Gupta family, the National Prosecuting Authority said on Tuesday.

"The evidence that we have at this point suggests that the proper charge should be incitement to commit murder. We do not have information at our disposal currently that points to the suggested coup plot," said NPA spokesperson, Phindi Louw.

Louw was speaking outside the Johannesburg Magistrate Court shortly after Ramosebudi made his second brief appearance.

The court heard that the charge would no longer be conspiracy to commit murder but incitement to commit murder.

When the 33-year-old was arrested in Midrand last week, he was charged with conspiracy to commit murder.

READ: Coup plotter charged with incitement to commit murder

Ongoing investigation

Louw said the reason why the charge was changed was because when conspiring, one must have worked with someone else and it appeared as though Ramosebudi worked alone.

"We placed it on record on Friday that he wrote a letter to a former [Anglo American] employee requesting an amount of R60m in order to carry out his criminal act."

Louw said the fact that it was a schedule one offence did not mean that it was not a serious offence. "The onus is up to the state to prove that it is in the interest of justice to keep the accused in custody or give them bail."

On sending Ramosebudi for mental observation - a request made on Friday - she said: "On Friday the attorney said there might be a need to send him for mental observation. The prosecutor again today said the investigation would guide us on whether there is a need to send the accused for observation or not."

She said the investigation was ongoing and if the state found information that suggested that it should oppose bail, it would do so.

"If it is not in the interest of justice or if the witnesses might be in danger if the accused is released on bail then we will oppose bail. If there are no reasons to oppose bail, then we won't," she said.

News24 obtained copies of letters which mentioned the 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 as possible targets.

A second letter, focusing on "white monopoly capital targets", mentioned axed deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas, former public protector Thuli Madonsela, former MP Vytjie Mentor and former GCIS CEO Themba Maseko.

Coup letter. (News24)

Communication material

The Hawks previously said that in October 2016 they intercepted communication material of possible assassinations which were being planned where various members of Cabinet, state-owned entities and prominent South Africans were listed as targets.

According to the Hawks, the suspect is a founding member of the Anti-State Capture Death Squad Alliance (ASCDSA) and he was arrested "while he was busy explaining to donors how the assassination of state capture beneficiaries was going to be carried out by the undercover coup plot snipers". Nineteen individuals were targeted, the Hawks previously said.

When Ramosebudi made his first appearance before Magistrate Vincent Ratshibvumo on Friday, the matter was postponed for Ramosebudi to meet with a Legal Aid attorney to discuss whether he would apply for bail.

On Tuesday morning, advocate Motebang Ramaili confirmed that he would be representing Ramosebudi. Ramaili requested that the matter be postponed to Friday, May 5.

Ratshibvumo agreed.

Ramosebudi remains in custody.

Here is the alleged coup hit list:

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

Minister 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:    npa  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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