JOHANNESBURG – The State is questioning the mental history of a man who was allegedly plotting to assassinate South African government officials perceived as beneficiaries of state capture, including cabinet ministers, members of state-owned entities and other prominent South Africans.
Elvis Ramosebudi appeared at the Johannesburg Magistrates Court on Friday. He is charged with conspiracy to commit murder.
The 33-year-old was arrested on Wednesday after the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) revealed this week that in October investigators had intercepted communications of possible assassinations which were being planned. As many as 19 people were allegedly targeted.
State Prosecutor King Masemola said bail was being opposed bail for the suspect because the state needed to conduct further investigation.
Masemola also said that they intended to have Ramosebudi referred for mental observation because of the dodgy coup plot he was allegedly planning.
“I’ve been informed by the advocate, they came to a conclusion that it was not normal for the person to commit such a offence using his own personal bank account and go around to the companies (for) fund raising…a normal person can’t go around asking for millions, not even thousands for his own personal things.”
Magistrate Vincent Ratshibvumo asked Ramosebudi if he had ever been admitted to a mental institution and the accused said he could not recall.
Earlier, Hawks spokesman, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi, said the Hawks had acted on the information they received and conducted undercover operations in both Pretoria and Johannesburg which led to the arrest.
“The suspect and a founder member of the Anti-State Capture Death Squad Alliance (ASCDSA) was arrested on the 26th April 2017 in Midrand while he was busy explaining to the donors how the assassination of state capture beneficiaries was going to be carried out by the undercover coup plot snipers,” Mulaudzi said.
“The communication intercepted by the investigators included various letters which were sent to selected companies to donate money at a total amount of R140m to fund the alleged clandestine operation.”
Masemola said he was in possession of the names of the affected individuals but would only release the names after further investigation. However, an ANN7 television news report on Thursday claimed that President Jacob Zuma’s name was on the hit list, along with that of members of the controversial Gupta family and former Eskom boss Brian Molefe.
Mulaudzi said during the ongoing investigation, another group, the Anti-White Monopoly Capitalists Regime (AWMCG) had surfaced which had necessitated a two-pronged investigative approach.
“It was discovered that the AWMCG used the same operandi, soliciting donations in order to assassinate senior government officials and other South African citizens. Four individuals were allegedly targeted for this operation. Their names will also be revealed in court,” Mulaudzi said.
He said during a search at the accused’s house, “evidentiary proof” was found and confiscated. Hawks investigations revealed that there were other companies the accused had attempted to solicite funds from using same modus operandi.
NPA spokesperson, Lindi Mjonodwane, said she could not confirm whether Ramosebudi received the funds he had solicited and if he was working alone.
“At this stage, let us deal with his first appearance and what transpired, what prompted the investigations and then we will deal with merits of the case as trial begins…Investigations are ongoing, let us allow that process to unfold. More information will be given to the public and through the media when it becomes available.”
The matter was postponed to May 2 to allow the accused to apply for legal aid. He was remanded.
– African News Agency (ANA)