Thatcher son arrested over coup plot

Makhosini Nkosi, spokesman for the Scorpions elite investigating unit, told local media that Sir Mark Thatcher had been arrested in Cape Town, reportedly on suspicion of providing funding and logistical assistance.

“The Scorpions have arrested the son of a prominent former British politician. We are investigating charges of contravening the Regulation of Foreign Military Assistance Act,” he said.

“This is in relation to the possible funding and logistical assistance in relation to the attempted coup in Equatorial Guinea. We have conducted a search and seizure operation at his home in Cape Town.”

The British Foreign Office has confirmed Thatcher was arrested, however has not specified the charges.

Police say he is expected to be charged with violating the foreign military assistance act.

“We have evidence, credible evidence, and information that he was involved in the attempted coup,” said police spokesman Sipho Ngwema.

“We refuse that South Africa be a springboard for coups in Africa and elsewhere,” he said.

Sir Mark, a 51-year-old father of two, has previously denied any involvement, and will appear before Cape Town magistrates later in the day.

He was arrested at his home in an exclusive Cape Town suburb.

Fourteen suspected foreign mercenaries are currently on trial in oil-rich Equatorial Guinea and 70 others detained in Zimbabwe over an alleged plot to topple President Teodoro Obiang Nguema.

The suspects were arrested in March in the Equatorial Guinea capital Malabo after Obiang declared on national television and radio that a bid to oust him had been thwarted.

On Tuesday, South African arms dealer Nick du Toit told a court he was promised a large amount of money to lead the coup attempt.
South African investigators have arrested the son of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher over his alleged involvement in a coup plot in Equatorial Guinea.

Makhosini Nkosi, spokesman for the Scorpions elite investigating unit, told local media that Mark Thatcher had been arrested in Cape Town.

“The Scorpions have arrested the son of a prominent former British politician. We are investigating charges of contravening the Regulation of Foreign Military Assistance Act,” he said.

“This is in relation to the possible funding and logistical assistance in relation to the attempted coup in Equatorial Guinea. We have conducted a search and seizure operation at his home in Cape Town.”

Fourteen suspected foreign mercenaries are currently on trial in oil-rich Equatorial Guinea and 70 others detained in Zimbabwe over an alleged plot to topple President Teodoro Obiang Nguema.

The suspects were arrested in March in the Equatorial Guinea capital Malabo after Obiang declared on national television and radio that a bid to oust him had been thwarted.

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