File photo: African News Agency (ANA)
Durban - The men charged in connection with bomb threats in Durban and a mosque attack have been granted bail after Magistrate Irfaan Khalil said the case would probably take two years to go to trial and the accused’s families would suffer if they were kept in prison during this period.

The 11 men are charged with planting incendiary devices and of executing the attack on the Imam Hussein Mosque in Verulam where Abbas Essop was killed. They face charges of terrorism, murder, attempted murder, extortion, kidnapping, contravention of the Explosives Act and arson.

Family and friends of the accused celebrated as the bail verdict was handed down in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

The group’s alleged kingpin, Farhad Hoomer, was granted bail of R200 000 with his co-accused Ahmed Haffejee’s bail set at R150 000.

Abasi Juma, Abubakari Ali, Mohammed Akbar, Muhammed Adil Sobrun, Omar Iddy and Ndikumana Shabani Umande were granted bail between R3 000 and R5 000. Thabit Said Mwenda, Mohammed Seidth and Amani Mayan were released on warning. Goolam Haffajee, was released on R100 000 bail last month.

Khalil said most of the accused were breadwinners and the trial was likely to start only in 2020.

“Even if the trial begins in 2020, it may take more than a year to conclude considering the number of accused in the dock. There is nothing to gain by holding them in custody,” he said.

The men were ordered to surrender their passports, obtain consent from the investigating officer before leaving the province and report to the Durban Central Police Station every Wednesday.

The Mercury