Alleged coup plotter Elvis Ramosebudi at an earlier court appearance. File picture: Kim Ludbrook/EPA
Johannesburg – The Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Friday reserved its ruling on the bail application of the man accused of allegedly plotting to assassinate South African government officials perceived as beneficiaries of state capture, including cabinet ministers.
After hearing arguments from the defence and the State, Magistrate Vincent Ratshibvumo said he would make his ruling on Monday.
Elvis Ramosebudi, 33, was arrested on April 26, after investigators intercepted communication of possible assassinations, which were being planned. As many as 19 people were allegedly targeted.
The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (known as the Hawks) said Ramosebudi was arrested in Midrand while he was busy explaining to the donors how the assassination of state capture beneficiaries was going to be carried out by an undercover coup plot sniper.
On Tuesday, The National Prosecuting Authority changed his charges from conspiracy to commit murder to incitement to commit murder citing that their evidence proved that the accused was acting alone.
State Prosecutor Advocate Johan Badenhorst opposed bail and said that Ramosebudi’s determination to carry out his plan might resurface if he is released.
Badenhorts read out an affidavit by the investigating officer which outlined all the plans Ramosebudi had in place to carry out his mission.
The affidavit revealed that Ramosebudi allegedly wrote his first letter on November 29, to a former employee of Anglo-American requesting R60 million in order to assassinate 19 high profile South Africans.
Some of the names on the hit list include President Jacob Zuma and his son Duduzani, the Gupta brothers, former Eskom boss Brian Molefe, South African Airways board chairperson Dudu Myeni, Eskom Chairperson Ben Ngubane, Head of the National Prosecuting Authority Shaun Abrahams and Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen.
On March 14, Ramosebudi allegedly sent a letter to Oakbay, a Gupta owned company, requesting R75 million to assassinate four people who are classified under white monopoly.
Upon further investigation, undercover police officers arranged a meeting with the accused on April 26.
“The meeting took place at the boardroom and audio-video recordings were made. During the meeting much information was disclosed by the accused which included that he is the founder of the Anti-State Capture Death Squad Alliance. He confirmed that he is the author of the letters,” said Badenhorts reading the affidavit.
“He stated that they have a sniper rifle and food poison to assassinate the listed. The money requested would be utilised for logistics and remuneration.”
The affidavit further stated that it was clear during the meeting that Ramosebudi was well informed on the landscape of politics in the country.
Badenhorst said Ramosebudi’s determination to leave Soshanguve, north of Pretoria, and meet total strangers in order to discuss his plans to kill members of parliament should provide enough reason that he be opposed bail.
The Magistrate asked Ramosebudi’s legal representative about the concerns the State raised stating that the accused might need to undergo medical observation.
“I’m concerned about this mental state issue, can I just release someone who I’m not even sure if he’s stable, I’m asking because it will assist me when making a decision,” Ratshibvumo said.
Motebang Ramaili, for Ramosebudi, said his client does not have a record of mental illness and he can confirm that he does not need psychiatric evaluation.
“There were no signs of mental illness even during consultation, nothing suggests that the applicant is mentally unstable. He’s just reserved, there’s no medical history of him being insane,” he said.
Badenhorts also conceded that the State will not request that the accused be sent for mental observation.
African News Agency