Mom of terror-accused twins in tears after hearing they will stay behind bars

2016-07-19 12:20
Mother of twin brothers accused of terrorism is escorted out of court. (News24)

Mother of twin brothers accused of terrorism is escorted out of court. (News24)

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Johannesburg - The mother of twin brothers accused of terrorism started crying in court on Tuesday when she heard they would be staying behind bars for another week.

As soon as the case was postponed in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court, their mother, who had been emotional throughout proceedings, started crying.

As she left the court room, two women comforted her. Two men quickly ushered her out of court, protecting her from media attention.

The case against brothers Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee Thulsie, 23, was postponed until next Monday for their bail application.

They face three counts of contravening the Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorist and Related Activities Act.

Prosecutor Chris Macadams told Magistrate Pieter du Plessis that the delay was due to the fact that the two had new lawyers.

READ: SA brothers charged with planning to blow up US embassy and 'Jewish institutions'

The brothers, who sat closely together, each wore a fez. They occasionally smiled at their relatives sitting in the first row of the public gallery.

A woman, believed to be their sister, blew kisses at the brothers. They winked back.

There was extraordinarily tight security. Journalists were asked to show their identity documents before entering the court room.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Louw told journalists outside the court that they would oppose bail because the twins faced serious charges.

Louw said more charges could be added, or arrests made, during the course of the police investigation into the matter.

"We don't know. We don't want to pre-empt the conclusions of the investigations."

The brothers were allegedly linked to terror group ISIS (Islamic State) and were allegedly planning to set off explosives at a US embassy and "Jewish institutions" in South Africa, according to their charge sheet.

‎‎They were arrested on Saturday, July 9, along with siblings Ebrahim and Fatima Patel during raids in Newclare and Florida, on the West Rand.

The Patels previously appeared in the Kagiso Magistrate’s Court on charges of possession of explosives and unlicensed ammunition.

Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi earlier told News24 that the arrests followed prolonged investigations into possible terror-related activities in the Johannesburg area.‎

‎He said the four were identified after they tried to travel to Syria to join ISIS in 2015.

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