Mbeki men may have to testify

Frank Chikane.
Pic. Martin Rhodes.
14.6.04.
© BD.
Frank Chikane. Pic. Martin Rhodes. 14.6.04. © BD.

Officials from President Thabo Mbeki's office and from the secret service might be called to testify in the trial of eight men allegedly involved in plot to overthrow the government of Equatorial Guinea.

Officials from President Thabo Mbeki's office and from the secret service might be called to testify in the trial of eight men allegedly involved in plot to overthrow the government of Equatorial Guinea.

Torie Pretorius, for the state, yesterday asked the Pretoria regional court for a postponement of the trial so officials in the president's office and in the secret service could be called to counter testimony by state witnesses that the government gave its approval for the plot.

"The state disputes the green light was given," Pretorius told the court.

He said he was already in contact with the director-general in The Presidency, Frank Chikane, and officials from SASS.

This comes after almost all the state witnesses called by Pretorius said the South African government knew about the plot, with several saying the government had approved of the plot.

Ivan Pienaar, who arranged flights for the coup attempt, last week testified that he believed that the government had approved of the mission.

Raymond Stanley Archer, Victor Dracula, Louis du Preez, Mazanga Kashama, Neves Tomas Matias, Simon Morris Witherspoon, Errol Harris and Hendrik Jacobus Hamman have pleaded not guilty to contravening the Foreign Military Assistance Act. - Sapa

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