28/04/2017 07:54 SAST | Updated 28/04/2017 11:29 SAST

"Coup Plot" Statement By Hawks Questioned

Security experts have called the plot bizarre and questioned why only one man was arrested.

Gallo Images
TSHWANE, SOUTH AFRICA � APRIL 18: The Hawks head offices where the defiant former boss Berning Ntlemeza was expected to report for work on April 18, 2017 in Tshwane, South Africa. Mulaudzi confirmed that Ntlemeza wouldn�t reporting for duty on Tuesday as claimed in weekend reports, but said he won�t be prevented from clearing out his office when he does decide to show up. (Photo by Gallo Images / Beeld / Deaan Vivier)

A "coup" plot by a 33-year-old man, who was arrested by the Hawks for allegedly wanting to assassinate prominent politicians and business people who had allegedly benefitted from state capture, has been called "quite fantastical".

On Wednesday, The Hawks issued a statement saying a 33-year-old man had been arrested for allegedly lobbying businesses for R140-million, to fund his plot to kill supposed state capture beneficiaries.

"The suspect and a founder member of the Anti- State Capture Death Squad Alliance (ASCDSA) was arrested on the 26th April 2017 in Midrand while he was busy explaining to the donors how the assassination of state capture beneficiaries was going to be carried out by the undercover coup plot snipers.

"The communication intercepted by the investigators included various letters which were sent to selected companies to donate money at a total amount of one hundred and forty million rands (R140m) to fund the alleged clandestine operation," said The Hawks.

On Thursday, Gareth Newham of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) told The Times that the assassination plot did not sound plausible.

"It could be someone who has mental health problems or it could be something being set up by Zuma supporters in order to make him look like a victim...It really is at this point a difficult statement by the Hawks to get your head around.

"The way it is written just sort of comes across as if they are trying to make out that there is this big plot against these people. Is it one person who is playing a game? Was he put up to it to throw a smokescreen?" Newham said.

The Times reported that among those supposedly targeted were the Gupta family, former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe‚ mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane, former MP Vytjie Mentor‚ former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela‚ Eskom Chairman Ben Ngubane‚ former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas‚ and co-operative governance minister Des van Rooyen.

The Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium's Jasmine Opperman told Eye Witness News that it was strange that only one person appeared to be involved.

"If they are groups they should have structure, they should have members – why then only one arrest? Secondly, if they were serious in executing a coup, would they go social media or give out letters asking for funding?" she said.

The suspects are due to appear in court on Friday.