23 February 2016

South Africa: Man in Court for Allegedly Faking President Assassination Plot

Pretoria — The man accused of claiming there was a plot to assassinate President Jacob Zuma and sending threatening smses to high profile government officials has appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court.

Ernest Nkosi, 26, was on Monday referred to a psychiatrist at Weskoppies Hospital, in Pretoria.

According to Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi, Nkosi allegedly sent emails to the spokesperson of the Minister of Police, the spokesperson of the Gauteng Provincial Government, the Crime Intelligence Divisional Commissioner, as well as car dealership BMW South Africa, claiming that there was a plot to assassinate President Zuma.

In his emails, he allegedly claimed that there was a seat in a vehicle that was poisoned and the poison was meant for the President.

"He further claimed that members of the SAPS VIP Protection Unit, members of the Hawks, as well as a certain minister and parliamentarians were involved in the plot to kill President Zuma.

"As if that was not enough, the man continued to send threatening smses to prominent individuals, including high profile officials in various departments, with the latest victim being the Chief of Defence Intelligence," said Mulaudzi.

He said the Hawks took the threats seriously and an investigation was launched.

Nkosi was arrested inside a library in Sharpeville, on Monday, and appeared before the Pretoria Magistrate's Court.

He was charged with contravening the Intelligence Services Act, as well as impersonating a State Security Agency (SSA) official, because he referred to himself as an SSA undercover agent.

The man was also charged for fraud because he was allegedly using a cell phone number that was registered for RICA (Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act) under another person's name.

Nkosi will appear in court again on 7 March 2016.

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