Johannesburg - The trial of alleged coup plotter Elvis Ramosebudi was postponed at the Johannesburg Magistrate's court after his legal representative said he was caught offguard with the new alternative charge which has been added to the indictment.
Ramosebudi is accused of plotting to assassinate senior South African government officials thought to have benefited from state capture.
The 33-year-old Soshanguve man has been charged with incitement to commit murder and the State has added incitement to commit conspiracy to murder to the charge sheet. His legal representative Mpesi Makhanya pointed out that they were unaware of the additional charge and felt like they were being ambushed.
"We were only furnished with the charge sheet last week Friday, from there, we had concerns on how we are going to proceed," he told the court on Monday.
Makhanya said they needed ample time to go through the charge sheet and consult his client on the new developments.
"It seems like the State is not sure of the charge they want to charge the accused with. One would also recall that before the accused could apply for bail, I think there were amendments of about two or three charges, clearly that indicates the State is in a fishing expedition as far as the charges are concerned," Makhanya said.
Speaking to journalists outside court, Ramosebudi said he was traumatised about this whole matter. "It's time delaying for (me) because I have a life to live, but facts will be facts and let's uphold the rule of law."
Ramosebudi is accused of of heading two organisations, The Anti-State Capture Death Squad Alliance and the White Monopoly Capitalist Regime.
He allegedly sent a letter to different businesses asking for funding for a coup attempt.
Part of the plan was allegedly to murder his targets in their homes, making the attacks appear like house robberies.
During a meeting with undercover police, Ramosebudi said he had a sniper rifle and food poison to assassinate those on the hit list. The money requested would be utilised for logistics and remuneration.
Some of the names on the list included President Jacob Zuma and his son Duduzani, members of the controversial Gupta family, former Eskom boss Brian Molefe, South African Airways (SAA) board chairperson Dudu Myeni, former Eskom chairperson Ben Ngubane, Head of the National Prosecuting Authority Shaun Abrahams and Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional affairs Des Van Rooyen.
The matter was stood down to Tuesday to allow Ramosebudi's legal representative to apply his mind on the added charge.