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By Nicholas Zaal

Digital Journalist

Cybercriminal goes to jail after posting plot to kill Ramaphosa

After he was tracked down, the accused admitted he was guilty, citing his frustration with unemployment as motivation for the crime.

A Northern Cape man has received a five-year prison sentence for cyber fraud after posting on his social media page rumours of a plot to kill the president.

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Elrico Kaizer Kasper, 38, was sentenced by De Aar Regional Court on Wednesday for the incident dating back to March last year.

Plot to kill the president

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Mojalefa Senokoatsane explained that the post said ‘some people’ were planning to assassinate President Cyril Ramaphosa during his visit to De Aar, during Human Rights Day celebrations on 21 March.

“A disruptive operation consisting of the Hawks serious organised crime investigation team and crime intelligence was operationalised and the team located the said accused,” Senokoatsane said.

“He was then taken in for questioning and he admitted to having posted such, citing the frustration of unemployment.”

Kasper appeared before the court many times leading up to his sentencing this week.

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Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation Provincial Head Major General Steven Mabuela, congratulated the team including the prosecution team for the “sterling work done”.

Senokoatsane added the NPA welcomes the sentencing of the accused, and hopes this sentence will work as a deterrent to other perpetrators of cybercrimes.

“Is it important that people should be aware that the dissemination of false information through social media platforms, will lead to people being prosecuted,” Senokoatsane added.

Joblessness to remain high for years

Last week, Statistics South Africa revealed the official unemployment rate grew from 32.1% to 32.9% in the first quarter of 2024.

Economic expert Raymond Parsons from North-West University Business School said the statistics indicated a weak economy and seasonal factors explained the recent negative trend.

“With SA’s GDP [gross domestic product] growth forecast to only be about 1% in 2024 and a little more next year, it is likely the overall unemployment level will remain unacceptably high in the foreseeable future,” he said.

Additional reporting by Zanele Mbengo.