KZN mosque attack case: Hawks to conduct ID parade

Members of the Hawks were at the Imam Hussain mosque in Verulam, outside Durban, on Monday morning.
Members of the Hawks were at the Imam Hussain mosque in Verulam, outside Durban, on Monday morning.
Kerushun Pillay

The Hawks are to conduct an ID parade in a case in which 19 people are accused of a fatal attack at a KwaZulu-Natal Shia mosque and the placement of several explosive devices at Durban shopping centres.

The case has been postponed for seven days to allow the Hawks to conduct the ID parade.

The 19 accused appeared in camera (in private) in the Verulam Family Court on Tuesday. Their nationalities, names, age and gender cannot be published at this stage.

READ: Names, nationalities of accused in 'sensitive' Verulam mosque attack case censored

The case was postponed to October 15 and the accused are in custody.

Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi told the media outside court that the court had granted them seven days to finalise the remaining aspects of their investigation.

"This means that we will have our identification parade and then on Monday, the [accused] will come back to court," he said, reiterating that the parade will happen before Monday.

Mulaudzi said they expected the accused's lawyers to apply for bail on Monday.

'Very sensitive'

The accused are represented by seasoned lawyers, including advocate Paul Jorgensen and Shaukat Karim, who both represented ANC KZN deputy chair Mike Mabuyakhulu in his corruption case.

Members of the National Intelligence Unit were also in court when the accused appeared.

"The matter is very sensitive and we are taking this as a high-profile case. Hence all these members that are assisting us in terms of security. We have to make sure security is tight," he said, adding that he couldn't share more information.

The accused face 14 charges including murder, attempted murder, arson, extortion and the violation of Pocdatara (The Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorist and Related Activities Act).

Mulaudzi said the charges related to 11 cases.

"We will use the seven days to finalise remaining issues so that the charge sheet speaks to each suspect," he said.

The media will still not be allowed in court on Monday, Mulaudzi said.

"A ruling has to be made by the court. I'm sure maybe on Monday that is when they'll be able to know whether the media and public will be allowed in court. But for now, until we finalise this process, you have to bear with us,'' he said.

'Security reasons' 

The case was postponed on Monday because some of the accused couldn't follow proceedings in English.

Jorgensen and Karim confirmed to News24 that interpreters had been brought in to translate for some of the accused who did not understand English.

Karim also confirmed that the accused had asked for halaal food. Their food of preference was delivered around lunch time.

Various items were confiscated when the accused were arrested on Friday, including a ready-made incendiary device.

Mulaudzi said someone who was allegedly found chained and malnourished inside a dungeon in one of the houses where the accused were arrested, was recuperating well at a Durban hospital.

He did not give further information for "security reasons".

In May this year, the Imam Hussain Mosque in Ottawa, Verulam, north of Durban, was attacked by three knife-wielding men.

Abbas Essop died during the attack, while Imam Ali Nchiyane and caretaker Mohammed Ali survived the attack on the mosque attended by Shia Muslims.

As the lawyers for the accused and court officials made their way out of court, a group of men, seemingly foreigners, shouted: "Muslims do not kill Muslims, bring the killers out so we can kill them."

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