#Coup_plotter Elvis a good man, say baffled neighbours

Elvis Ramosebudi has been charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso/ANA Pictures

Elvis Ramosebudi has been charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso/ANA Pictures

Published Apr 30, 2017


Johannesburg - When neighbours of Elvis Ramosebudi saw pictures of him appearing in court charged with conspiracy to assassinate President Jacob Zuma and 23 of his cabinet ministers who allegedly benefited from the Guptas, they were shocked.

His neighbours in Soshanguve Block NN, outside Pretoria, are baffled how the man they described as “a good boy” could have plotted such a serious crime.

“I grew up knowing him," said Peter Ngobeni. "He worked well as a security guard and we were so surprised to see him on the news appearing in court. I would like to think he was in a bad space as I don’t know him as someone who would do something like this.”

Another neighbour, who wanted to remain anonymous, said news of Ramosebudi’s arrest on such serious charges had left her flabbergasted.

“I can only imagine how shocked his parents must have been by this. He is not the type to fight with anyone.

“He is a well-bred man. Even if you could ask anyone from around who knows him, they all know him as good boy.”

However, the Hawks have painted a different picture of Ramosebudi and they are convinced that they got their man.

Before his court appearance in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Friday, the Hawks, who carried out the arrest on Wednesday, depicted the 33-year-old Ramosebudi as a man capable of carrying out his plot with the assistance of co-plotters.

He was described as a founder member of the Anti-State Capture Death Squad Alliance, but strangely none of these details were heard in the Johannesburg Regional Court where he made his first appearance.

Ramosebudi was provisionally charged with conspiracy

to murder Zuma and some members of the Gupta family. High profile politicians

and cabinet members, as well newly sworn-in MP Brian Molefe, were among the targets.

Despite the seriousness of the charges against Ramosebudi, security during his court appearance was lax.

He walked alone out of the underground court holding cells into the dock. There were no armed police officers guarding him and escorting him to appear before Magistrate Vincent Ratshibvumo. He was not in leg irons.

A proper profiling of Ramosebudi's plot appeared to have not been compiled before his appearance.

The court heard only that he had written to businessman and philanthropist Nicky Oppenheimer and asked for donations amounting to millions of rand to carry out his plot.

No details were given about the Anti-State Capture Death Squad Alliance and Ramosebudi’s history of involvement to clearly determine whether on Tuesday it would be his responsibility to convince the court to grant him bail on Tuesday.

It also emerged in court that the director of public prosecutions in Gauteng had questioned the mental status of Ramosebudi.

Ramosebudi had shared his personal bank and residential address information with his potential donors, apparently without any fear of consequences.

The prosecution also linked him to another plot to kill the former public protector, advocate Thuli Madonsela, and former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas.

All these details prompted Magistrate Ratshibvumo to question whether Ramosebudi might have a mental problem.

“Were you ever admitted to a mental institution?"

The reply surprised those in the gallery when he said: “I can’t recall”.

Ramosebudi is expected back in court on Tuesday.

The Sunday Independent

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