State recommends ‘coup plotter’ undergo mental evaluation
The office of the district public prosecutor has recommended that Elvis Ramosebudi‚ the man accused of plotting a coup by mass assassination‚ should undergo mental evaluation.
Ramosebudi‚ who lives with his mother in Soshanguve‚ appeared briefly in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court this morning and faces a provisional charge of conspiracy to commit murder.
His case was postponed to May 2 to allow for further investigations as well as provide him the opportunity to get legal representation.
Dressed in a hoody‚ he looked around once and made eye contact with two women‚ who denied they were family or knew him.
The small court was packed with journalists determined to get a glimpse of the man behind what seems to be a fantastical plot to nip state capture in the bud.
He told Magistrate Vincent Ratshivumbu he could not recall ever being admitted to a mental institution and that he would be applying for bail.
Ramosebudi‚ who stood tall with his head held high and hands folded behind his back‚ used language such as “I do confirm” when responding to questions from the magistrate‚ leading many to believe this was not his first sojourn into a court.
“Due to the seriousness of the charge against you‚ I would highly recommend you obtain legal representation and that you do not conduct your own defence‚” Ratshivumbu told Ramosebudi.
Conspiracy to commit murder is a schedule one offence under the Criminal Procedure Act. State prosecutor King Masimula argued it would be in the interest of justice to keep Ramosebudi in custody.
“I wish to hereby apply to this honourable court for a postponement of seven days as requested by the office of the district public prosecutor‚ as the state intends to obtain further statements‚” Masimula told the court.
When asked how the district public prosecutor had arrived at the conclusion that Ramosebudi should be sent for mental evaluation‚ Masimula said he was told by investigators that it was because of the accused’s conduct.
“They came to it that it was not normal for a person to commit such an offence using his own bank account‚ or approach businesses to raise funds to commit the said offence‚” he said.
In one of the letters‚ sent to billionaire businessman Nicky Oppenheimer‚ a copy of which TMG digital obtained on Thursday‚ Ramosebudi provides his own Standard Bank account details and requested the amount of R60-million to fund the ‘sniper assassination plot’.
Spokeswoman for the National Prosecuting Authority Phindi Louw (Mjonondwane) told journalists outside the court house that the NPA had no information to support terrorism or treason charges at this stage.
“The NPA actually determined that the charge that can be levelled against the accused is conspiracy to commit murder‚” she said‚ adding that once investigations were finalised‚ the NPA would add charges or decide if any further arrests could be made.
She denied the case could potentially embarrass the state should Ramosebudi be found mentally unstable.
“We cannot say it would be a massive embarrassment. As state it is our duty to act if we receive information that there is a danger to the public‚” she said. “And we allege he is a danger to the public‚ as the state‚ and it is the duty of the state to prove what we are alleging.”
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