Sulaiman Effendi appeared in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court over the cub. Screengrab

Cape Town - Sulaiman Effendi, the son of killer Najwa Petersen, has been arrested for the lion cub that was found in Athlone.

Effendi, Shurud Jacobs and Moegamat Rayaan Simons on Wednesday made their first appearance at the Wynberg Magistrate's Court following their arrest on Tuesday.

It was also revealed that members from the Stock and Endangered Species Unit are now searching for a second lion cub, which was smuggled from Limpopo along with the first cub which was found at Effendi’s home in Lawrence Road, Athlone last Wednesday night.

Police said the estimated street value of the cub is R50 000.

Moments before stepping into the dock, Effendi dressed in a K-Way jacket, stood outside the court holding cells and burst into tears when he saw his friends and relatives who came to support him.

Magistrate Rhode informed the trio, aged between 28 and 30, that they were facing 14 charges relating to the protection of wild animals.

The suspects indicated they have private lawyers.

Last Wednesday, detectives attached to Organised Crime Investigations followed up on information about a lion cub and arrived at Jacobs’ home, who first took police to Simons’ residence and then to Effendi’s house where the lion cub was found.

A screengrab of Shurud Jacobs and the cub.

The next day, a photograph of Effendi holding up the cub, and mimicking the movie, The Lion King, went viral.

The State asked for R10 000 bail for Jacobs and R5000 for the other two accused.

When Magistrate Rhode queried the difference in the amounts, it was revealed Jacobs, who has a two-year-old daughter, had a pending case of assault, while Simons and Effendi had no pending cases, warrants or convictions.

The State said they would not be opposing bail and the trio was granted R5000 bail each.

Due to outstanding witness statements, the matter was postponed to 27 November.

Prosecutors said investigators also still needed to find the exact origin of the lion cub.

Outside court, more drama unfolded when Najwa’s brother, Waleed Dirk, was filmed headbutting a photographer from Die Burger, Jaco Marais, while he took images of the accused hiding their faces under hoodies and jackets as they left the court.

Marais has opened a case of assault at Wynberg SAPS.

In 2013, Waleed was convicted of 180 counts of fraud and forgery after entering into a plea deal.

He admitted to defrauding customs export officers and Sars officials in the Northern Cape when fruit was exported under their family business, Dirk Fruit Supply Oshakati CC.

He was fined R1 million, which he paid into the State’s Criminal Asset Recovery Account.

He was also fined R7m, payable to Sars, which was deferred.

Najwa is currently serving a 28-year sentence for murdering her husband, music icon, Taliep Petersen.

Daily Voice