Terror-accused Thulsie twins enter fifth year behind bars, still awaiting trial
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Johannesburg – Terror-accused and Islamic State-linked twins Tony-Lee and Brandon-Lee Thulsie, who were expected to appear in court on Monday, are entering their fifth year behind bars and still awaiting trial.
Since they were arrested in July 2016 during raids in Newclare and Azaadville on allegations they were linked to the jihadist group Islamic State, the two have never stepped foot outside prison.
In October 2016, the twins abandoned their bail application. However, they applied for bail again last year but it was denied. The State had argued if bail was granted, the twins might join Islamist insurgents fighting in northern Mozambique.
In their affidavit filed in support of his release on bail, Brandon-Lee said they were being held in single cells under circumstances that were not fit for human beings.
“We are effectively kept in isolation from other inmates… Our cells are extremely cold and dirty,” he said.
The brothers spoke about how their mother’s mental and physical health had deteriorated since their incarceration. They feared she might not recover unless they were released. They said their incarceration had also taken a toll on their sister and on their family as a whole.
Tony-Lee and Brandon-Lee, 27, are accused of planning to bomb the US embassy and Jewish institutions in South Africa.
Other institutions they allegedly targeted are the UK High Commission, the South Africa Zionist Federation, King David High School in Linksfield, Johannesburg, and arms manufacturer, Denel.
The State alleged the twins would also target individuals, among them cartoonist Zapiro, Jews who fought in Israel and returned to South Africa, Jewish South African investment banker Roy Topo and an unidentified gay imam.
The two were expected to appear at the South Gauteng High Court on Monday.