South African coup plotter sent back to jail

33-year-old man faces charges of conspiracy to murder top govt officials thought to have benefited from corruption

South African coup plotter sent back to jail

World Bulletin / News Desk

A South African man accused of plotting to assassinate top government officials assumed to have benefited from corrupt dealings has been remanded in custody until May 2.

Elvis Ramosebudi, 33, made his first appearance in the Johannesburg magistrate court on Friday before he was sent back to jail as he did not have an attorney to apply for bail.

A state prosecutor said the accused faced charges of conspiracy to commit murder. He said the state would oppose bail because the case needed further investigation.

Ramosebudi was arrested Wednesday by the Hawks, an elite police unit, while he was reportedly explaining to donors who would finance his mission on how assassinations of "state capture beneficiaries" would be executed.

In South Africa, state capture refers to corrupt dealings between a wealthy Indian family close to President Jacob Zuma, and government officials and state bodies.

The influential Gupta family is accused of wielding enormous political influence in the country, with the aim of advancing its business interests.

Some politicians have accused the family of trying to offer them cabinet posts and money in return for state contracts.

The influence of the Gupta family has divided some members of Zuma’s ruling African National Congress party, with some calling for a judicial commission of inquiry into corrupt dealings between the family and government officials.

The state said it would not disclose the list of names of officials targeted pending further investigations.

In a statement, the Hawks claims that the suspect had written letters to several companies in the country requesting for donations of about 140 rand (approximately $ 10.5 million) to conduct the illegal mission.

A state prosecutor urged in court that it seemed the suspect was not normal and could be suffering from a mental problem because he used his personal account to solicit for the donations.

When asked by the magistrate if he had previously visited a mental health facility, he replied "not at all".

Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Nisan 2017, 15:30