Strike Thulsie twins' case off the roll - defence

The Thulsie Twins (Facebook)
The Thulsie Twins (Facebook)

Johannesburg - The case of terror accused twins Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee Thulsie should be struck off the roll, the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court heard on Friday. 

Their lawyer, Annelene van den Heever, argued that the State needed to get its house in order. 

"This matter should be struck off the roll and reinstated when the State has more evidence to place the matter back on the roll," she said.

Magistrate Pieter du Plessis reminded her of the seriousness of the case. 

Van den Heever was objecting to the State's request for a postponement to allow for further investigations.

The twins were arrested in July last year during raids in Newclare and Azaadville, on the West Rand. They face three counts of contravening the Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorist and Related Activities Act.

State claims strong case

According to their charge sheet, the brothers, who were arrested along with siblings Ebrahim and Fatima Patel, were allegedly linked to the self-proclaimed Islamic State group and were allegedly planning to set off explosives at a US embassy and "Jewish institutions" in SA.

Prosecutor Chris MacAdam said the twins chose to abandon their bail applications in October.

"They cannot complain that they are unlawfully kept in custody," MacAdam said. 

MacAdam said the State had a strong case. The investigating officer had found a press statement relating to the terror attacks in Paris in November 2015 on one of twins’ devices. He did not say who had issued this statement. 

They had found a document, Mujahid Guide 2015 - How to survive in the West, on one of the devices. A mujahid is one who is engaged in the act of jihad. 

On Tuesday, MacAdam told the court that the investigating officer had discovered that the twins had been active on social media prior to their arrests, and were allegedly discussing matters that could incriminate them.

Case postponed

He said the arrests of two suspects in Kenya and Britain were allegedly linked to the case against the twins.

MacAdam said US authorities also had jurisdiction over the case and had registered a local case, and would subpoena service providers. He did not elaborate. He said senior British officials had met the investigating officer.

The State had approached the Syrian and Turkish governments because there was information that the twins had wanted to go to Syria, MacAdam said.

The matter was postponed to January 25 for a ruling on whether or not to grant the State a postponement to late April for further investigations.      

After the proceedings, the twins blew their mother kisses and made their way down from the dock. 

NPA spokesperson Phindi Louw told reporters outside court that the investigation was complex.

"According to information gathered, we are convinced that we have a case against the twins. As the State, we asked for a postponement to gather more information for trial." 

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