Man who lied about plan to assassinate South African President sentenced to 5 years in jail

    The Hawk
    May23/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    Elrico Kaizer Kasper, 38, posted the false claim in March 2023, triggering a significant investigation by crime intelligence teams. Kasper admitted to fabricating the story to express frustration over his prolonged unemployment.

    Representative image of a man in jail

    Johannesburg: An unemployed man, who lied on social media about a plan to assassinate South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, was sentenced to five years in jail by a local court.

    Elrico Kaizer Kasper, 38, was sentenced by the De Aar Regional Court on Wednesday after being charged under the country's cyber fraud laws, said Mojalefa Senokoatsane, the spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

    In March 2023, Kasper posted on his social media page a claim that some unidentified people were planning to assassinate Ramaphosa when he visited the small town of De Aar in the Northern Cape province, where he was the keynote speaker for the annual Human Rights Day celebrations.

    Kaspar’s post promoted a massive investigation by the Serious Organised Crime Investigation team and Crime Intelligence, who tracked down Kasper as the creator of the message.

    During interrogation, Kasper admitted that he had posted the message to draw attention to his frustration at having been unemployed for a long time.

    Authorities said that they took social media posts like this, especially false ones which could create great public concern, very seriously.

    “It is important that people should be aware that dissemination of false information through social media platforms will lead to people being prosecuted,” Senokoatsane said.

    Senokoatsane added that the NPA welcomed the firm sentence as a deterrent to other perpetrators of cybercrimes.

    In the past two years, South Africa has implemented a wide range of cybercrime-related legislation after the country was grey-listed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for failing to implement standards to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing.