Coup plot suspect back in court

Johannesburg – Elvis Ramosebudi, the 23-year-old accused of plotting to assassinate President Jacob Zuma, members of the Gupta family and Cabinet ministers, will appear in Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Thursday.

In a previous appearance, the court heard that charges against Ramosebudi were being changed to incitement to commit murder.

News24 previously obtained copies of letters which listed 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.

While a second letter which focused on targeting "white monopoly capital targets", listed axed deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas, former public protector Thuli Madonsela, former MP Vytjie Mentor and former GCIS CEO Themba Maseko.

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.

During his bail application in May, Ramosebudi said he is unemployed and would request assistance from Legal Aid.

When Ramosebudi made his first appearance Magistrate Vincent Ratshibvumo postponed the matter for Ramosebudi to meet with a Legal Aid attorney to discuss whether he will apply for bail or not.

Ramosebudi was granted R3 000 bail.  

Magistrate Vincent Ratshibvumo said Ramosebudie was not a flight risk, there was no evidence suggesting he had been outside South Africa, and he did not own a passport.

The unmarried father of one had a bank balance of zero and therefore there was no indication that he would flee the country.

"The chances that he will evade the trial are minimal. He also did not incite anyone into his plans. In conclusion, he remains innocent until proven guilty,” Ratshibvumo said.

Bail was set at R3 000, even though Ramosebudi said he could only afford R1 000.

His bail conditions were that he had to appear on all court dates, not directly or indirectly contact any witnesses or all those he had listed as "state capture beneficiaries", not change his address without notifying the investigating officer, and report to a local police station every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

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