Court grants defence postponement in coup assassin case

The trial of Elvis Ramosebudi, who is accused of plotting to assassinate President Jacob Zuma and other prominent South Africans, has been postponed.

 

Magistrate Collen Matshitse granted the defence in the case against Elvis Ramosebudi a postponement to allow them time to prepare for the trial and also to give notice of their objection to the charge sheet.

Ramosebudi’s is charged with two counts of incitement to commit murder and two alternative counts of incitement to commit conspiracy to murder.

On 12 September, all parties involved appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrates’ Court.

Advocate Motebang Ramaili, for the defence, told the court they were not ready to proceed with the trial and requested a postponement. Ramaili explained that the defence required more time to bring an application to challenge the alternative charges brought by the state.

The defence counsel argued that the additional alternative charges brought by the state were going to affect their defence in the matter. He also lamented the short notice the state gave on the new alternative charges. Ramaili said they were ambushed by the state on 7 September when they received the charge sheet and saw the new alternative charges.

Ramaili also told the court that in light of the new alternative charges, the defence wants to hand in an application asking for further particulars of the alternative charges.

State Prosecutor Advocate Johan Badenhorst objected to the request for a long postponement and argued that all particulars pertaining to the case have been disclosed to the defence

. “I find it hard to understand what further particulars they need,” Badenhorst told the court.

He also pointed out that the state went to a lot of trouble to prepare for this trial.

“It is so unfortunate that they are not ready,” Badenhorst added.

During the first day which was set for plea and trial on 11 September, the defence requested a postponement in order to research the validity and legality of the alternative charges brought by the state

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

Ramosebudi is charged with two counts of incitement to commit murder and two alternative counts of incitement to conspire to commit murder.

“The defence wishes to bring an application that the said charge (alternative count) does not exist in our law, more so in the legislative or common law. As a result, the defence wishes to do some research in this regard,” Ramaili said.

Magistrate Matshitse said he would not punish the accused for the sloppy work done by his legal team. He pointed out that it was clear that the legal team failed to meet in order to prepare for the trial since his last appearance.

He also noted that the state didn’t give the defence enough time to consult on the new additional alternative charges brought against Ramosebudi.

Ramosebudi is accused of plotting to kill South Africans perceived to be state capture beneficiaries.

He was arrested in April, while meeting with supposed donors to his plot in Midrand

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

The matter was postponed to 6 November. The defence has to file its notice of objection to the charge sheet to the state on or before midday on 6 October.

  AUTHOR
Belinda Pheto

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