‘Coup plotter’ to launch High Court application to challenge charges

Elvis Ramosebudi is accused of a plot to assasinate prominent South Africans. Photo: File, Belinda Pheto.


Trial proceedings in the case against the man accused of plotting to assassinate prominent South Africans including President Jacob Zuma have been put on hold.

READ: #ICYMI: Hawks arrest man in Midrand who allegedly plotted to assassinate State capture beneficiaries

On 6 November, the defence in the matter requested a postponement in the Johannesburg Magistrates’ Court, in order to launch a High Court application where the constitutionality of the charges against Ramosebudi will be determined.

READ: Defence wants to challenge latest charge in the alleged coup assassin case

Ramosebudi is charged under Section 18 of the Riotous Assemblies Act of 1956. He is charged with two counts of incitement to commit murder and two alternative counts of incitement to conspire to commit murder.

Advocate Motebang Ramaili, for the accused, asked the court to grant a postponement in order to allow the defence time to launch a High Court application to determine the constitutionality of charges against the accused.

State prosecutor advocate Johan Badenhorst objected to the request by the defence. He said the right to a speedy trial was for both the state and the accused. He labelled the recent request by the defence as a delay tactic and said they failed to argue and give reasons why the charges are unconstitutional.

The prosecutor told the court that should the postponement be granted, it will be prejudicial for the state to go to the High Court with nothing, as the defence failed to give reasons on why they want to challenge the charges.

Badenhorst maintained that the trial needed to start immediately as the defence has had ample time to prepare for the case and could have brought any objections they had months ago.

READ: Trial date set for alleged assassin plotter

Ramaili, however, had a different view. He told the court that the accused had the right to a fair trial, and said it was ill-informed of the state to accuse them of being unprepared. The advocate told the court that the state’s house has been a mess from the inception.

Ramaili brought up the issue of how the state changed the main charges and how the defence battled to get a charge sheet from the state. He also stated that they were launching the High Court application as the court they were in had no jurisdiction to hear the matter (constitutionality of charges).

READ: State change charges against alleged coup plotter

Regional Magistrate Collen Matshitse granted the postponement with strict conditions. He said the court will have to monitor the High Court applications.

Matshitse told the defence that they must have filed their application on or before 17 November and that on 21 November, they must be in his court to submit proof that they had submitted their application.

The case has been postponed from 2 to 6 April for plea and trial.

Belinda Pheto

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