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Bail delayed for Congo coup accused

Published on 27/02/2013

Twenty Congolese men who were arrested in South Africa for allegedly plotting to overthrow Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila appeared in court Wednesday to hear their bail hearing has been delayed.

Since the 19 accused last appeared in the dock in early February their numbers have increased following the arrest of Congolese President Joseph Kabilas half-brother Etienne.

“This case is a matter of interest in South Africa, Africa and internationally,” said magistrate Solomon Mkhabela, ruling that television cameras will be allowed into the trial.

The bail application has been delayed because two of the accused might have a conflict of interest.

Magistrate Mkhabela said this had to be cleared up when they appeared next Monday ahead of the continuation of their bail application on March 6.

The men have been remanded in custody.

Prosecutor Shaun Abrahams said a charge of conspiracy to commit murder had been added to the original charge of engaging in mercenary activities under the Military Assistance Act.