In South Africa, the suspect arrested this week in alleged assassination plots targeting nearly 20 people tied to the state capture corruption case is expected to appear in court on Friday.
The 23-year-old African male will face conspiracy to commit murder and other charges, the South African Police Service said in a statement.
The specialized Hawks police unit said the man was arrested in Midrand while seeking donor support for the plot to assassinate cabinet members, prominent South Africans and leaders of state-owned businesses who stood to gain from developments detailed in last year’s “State of Capture” report.
The report by South Africa’s Public Protector office detailed an investigation into President Jacob Zuma’s relationships with the wealthy and well-connected Gupta family, who allegedly secured lucrative government contracts and preferential treatment in access to financing and business license approvals.
It was completed in October 2016, following complaints by South African government and religious leaders who believed that Zuma’s relationships influenced political and ministerial office appointments.
That same month, police say, they intercepted communications about the targets and set up an undercover operation in Johannesburg and Pretoria. Their evidence included letters “sent to selected companies to donate money at a total amount of R140 million to fund the alleged clandestine operation,” the SAPS said.
The man arrested is “a founder member of the Anti- State Capture Death Squad Alliance (ASCDSA),” the discovery of which led investigators to a second group called the Anti-White Monopoly Capitalists Regime (AWMCG). Police did not provide any additional details about either organization.
The hit list, according to local media reports, includes Zuma, the Guptas, and executives at Eskom, as well as various current and former South African cabinet ministers. The SAPS, however, said this specific operation involved just four targets whose names will only be revealed during the court proceedings.
Image: RSA/State of Capture report