Members of a DRC rebel group accused of plotting to overthrow president Joseph Kabila’s government go on trial in the Pretoria High court today.
They lost an application yesterday for the case to be squashed because the alleged offence was designed for a foreign sovereign state.
Two of the accused launched an application for charges to be dropped because the alleged coup plot against DRC President Josef Kabila was designed to take place outside South Africa’s jurisdiction and that the putsch never actually took place.
Prosecutor Tory Pretorius said the group of 20 DRC men are subject to South African law.
He urged the court to take into account South Africa’s international obligations.
It could not be seen to be doing nothing while people were planning a coup d’etat against on one of its neighbours.
The coup was planned and mercenaries were recruited in South Africa.
The guns and money would have been obtained in South Africa.
Pretorius argued that a South African court had full jurisdiction in the case.
He said the moment minds meet, on a crime, at that time a crime has already been committed. The contemplated offence need not be brought to fruition.
Judge Billy Mothle dismissed the accused’s application.