It is now even less clear why Elvis Ramosebudi, the man accused of plotting to murder a number of government officials, was arrested by the Hawks last week.
The so-called “coup plotter” and alleged leader of the Anti-State Capture Death Squad made his second appearance at the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court yesterday, no longer charged with conspiracy to murder but incitement to murder.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has ostensibly admitted that there was no evidence of a murder plot to begin with.
“The evidence that we have suggests that the proper charge is incitement to commit murder. We don’t have information at our disposal currently [which] points to the suggested coup plot,” said NPA spokesperson Phindi Louw before indicating that, according to their evidence, he acted alone.
Pertaining to what it was that Ramosebudi did to suggest he was inciting murder, the NPA would not divulge whether it had any evidence, other than a letter written to a former Anglo American employee, asking for R60 million in order to conduct several hits, as well as the fact that he addressed other Anglo American employees, asking them to participate.
The unemployed 32-year-old indicated last week that he would apply for legal aid, but yesterday he showed up with private defence attorney Motemang Ramaili, who told the court he had no intention of addressing the matter of his client’s mental illness, but would focus on the bail application.
Last week, the Hawks said that Ramosebudi ’s organisations were plotting to murder 19 ministers and other high-level officials.
The Gupta family entered the fray and reported to police that their lawyers received a letter from Ramosebudi, asking for R30 million to assassinate former public protector Thuli Madonsela‚ ex-finance minister Nhlanhla Nene and former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas.
During the first appearance, state prosecutor King Masimulla told the court that investigators expressed concern that the suspect’s behaviour required a psychiatric evaluation.
However, the court was yesterday told by state prosecutor Johan Badenhorst that the state was still evaluating whether it was necessary to have him evaluated before he goes on trial.
The charge is a schedule 1 offence, which requires the suspect to be granted bail unless the state can prove that it is in the interest of justice to keep him in custody.
Ramosebudi is also the alleged leader of the Anti-White Monopoly Capitalists Regime. Both the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority have been mum on whether they have evidence that either organisation actually exists.
The bail application was postponed to Friday.