State change charges against alleged coup plotter

The state has changed charges against Elvis Ramosebudi from conspiracy to commit murder to incitement to commit murder.

 

The State changed its charges against Elvis Ramosebudi from conspiracy to commit murder to incitement to commit murder.

Ramosebudi, 33, appeared briefly at the Johannesburg Magistrates’ Court on 2 May for allegedly plotting to assassinate people perceived to state capture beneficiaries.

State prosecutor, Advocate Johan Badenhorst told Magistrate Vincent Ratshibvumo that the charge faced by Ramosebudi is now incitement to commit murder.

The spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Phindi Mjonondwane explained that the charge was changed as there was no evidence that Ramosebudi conspired with anyone.

“At this stage, the evidence gathered doesn’t suggest that the suspect conspired with anyone to commit the crime.” Mjonondwane also said the state doesn’t have evidence suggesting that the accused planned a coup.

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During Ramosebudi’s first court appearance on 28 April, he had no legal representation and told the court that he wanted to apply for a legal aid lawyer. However, at this stage, Advocate Motebang Ramaili is representing him.

During his first court appearance, the state said there was a recommendation that Ramosebudi be sent for psychiatric evaluation. Responding to Ratshibvumo’s question on the mental evaluation of his client, Ramaili said at the moment the priority is to get bail for the accused.

The accused was arrested by the Hawks on 26 April in Midrand. According to the Hawks statement released shortly after his arrest, Ramosebudi was arrested while he was explaining to donors how the assassination of state capture beneficiaries was going to be carried out by undercover coup plot snipers.

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At the time, Hawks spokesperson, Hangwani Mulaudzi said almost 19 individuals were targeted and their names will only be divulged in court. The suspect is alleged to be the founder of the Anti-State Capture Death Squad Alliance (ASCDSA).

In a statement, the Hawks said that in October last year they intercepted communication material of possible assassinations which were being planned where various members of the cabinet, State-owned entities and prominent South Africans were listed as targets.

According to the Hawks statement, “The communication intercepted by the investigators included various letters which were sent to selected companies to donate money at a total amount of R140 million to fund the alleged clandestine operation.

The statement also highlighted that during the investigations, another group, the Anti-White Monopoly Capitalists Regime (AWMCG) surfaced which necessitated a two-pronged investigative approach.

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“It was discovered that the AWMCG used the same modus operandi, soliticing donations in order to assassinate senior government officials and other South African citizens. Four individuals were targeted for this operation. Their names will also be revealed in court,” said Mulaudzi at the time of Ramosebudi’s arrest.

He added that a search was conducted at the suspect’s home and alleged that ‘proof was confiscated’ for investigation.

Ramosebudi’s case has been postponed to 5 May when he will apply for bail. He was remanded in custody.

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  AUTHOR
Belinda Pheto
Journalist

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