Nick du Toit
is a South African arms dealer
and former army officer of 32 Battalion
and the 5th Reconnaissance Commando. He was implicated in the plot to overthrow Teodoro Obiang
of Equatorial Guinea
He went on trial in Malabo
along with 18 other men accused of being the advance party for 70 other mercenaries. The prosecution asked for the death penalty but when all were found guilty, jail sentences were handed out with du Toit receiving 34 years (to be served in Malabo's notorious Black Beach
His job in the coup d'état
was reportedly to supply the mercenaries
with arms including AK47s
, PK machine guns
, and mortars
, and to secure the control tower at the Malabo airport
and change the frequency to establish communication with the incoming plane from Zimbabwe
carrying more mercenaries. After his capture, he appeared on South African
television announcing the failure of the coup and the names of co-conspirators.
Du Toit's wife claimed that her husband had been tortured; namely stamping on du Toit's feet until his toenails came off, electric shocks and beatings.
He was given a presidential pardon by Equatorial Guinea's ruler, President Obiang, on 3 November 2009, and was released, along with Sergio Fernando Patricio Cardoso, Jose Passocas Domingos and Georges Olympic Nunez Alerson. Simon Mann
was also released and was back in England by 6 November 2009.