Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma, four Gupta family members and the ANC Youth League's Collen Maine are some of the 23 names on an alleged hit list intercepted by the Hawks.
In a letter sent to funders soliciting funds to assassinate individuals, a 23-year-old man, who is expected to appear in court on Friday morning, lists the 19 as beneficiaries of state capture.
In the letter dated October 25, 2016, and addressed to businessman Nicky Oppenheimer under the heading “Let’s help save South Africa”, the man states: “All South Africans, have long been protesting and struggling against Jacob Zuma bad governance, rampant corruption, state capture, economic meltdown, self-interest, fraud and failure to protect and uphold the constitution of the country." (sic)
The man - said to be the founder of the Anti-State Capture Death Squad Alliance (ASCDSA) then asks Oppenheimer for R60 million to fund the assassination of, among others, Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, and “state capture convener” Fana Hlongwane.
Zuma’s son Duduzane was also named.
The man allegedly sent a separate letter to Ajay Gupta, titled “Hands off The Gupta Family”. It stated: “The Gupta family has created employment opportunities for many black people since the dawn of freedom but white monopoly capitalists want to control the economy and prevent the Gupta family from creating more employment opportunities for the previously disadvantaged black people.”
He further asks Gupta for R75m to “finance our undercover coup plot mission to silence and assassinate people who continue to support white monopoly capitalists”.
In the letter to Gupta, the man apparently said the plan was to kill former finance deputy minister Mcebisi Jonas, former MP Vytjie Mentor, former public protector Thuli Madonsela and Themba Maseko, former GCIS chief executive.
To Gupta, he claimed to be the founder of the "Anti-White Monopoly Capitalists Regime" (AWMCG).
The man is expected to appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Friday on conspiracy to commit murder, among other charges.
Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi refused to confirm the contents of the letters.
But he said that last year, the Hawks intercepted communication material of possible assassinations being planned against various individuals.
The Hawks arrested the suspect on Wednesday after acting upon information received and conducted undercover operations in Pretoria and Joburg. "Almost 19 individuals were targeted,” Mulaudzi said.
"The suspect and a founder member of the ASCDSA was arrested on the April 26 in Midrand while he was explaining to donors how the assassination of state capture beneficiaries was going to be carried out by the undercover coup plot snipers.”
Mulaudzi said communication which was intercepted by investigators included various letters sent to selected companies to donate R140m to fund the alleged clandestine operation.
Another ongoing investigation led to the discovery of another group, the AWMCG, necessitating a two-pronged investigation, he said.
“It was discovered that the AWMCG used the same modus operandi soliciting donations 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 went on to say that a search was conducted at the suspects’ home and evidence was confiscated for further investigations.