Tight security as terrorism-accused Thulsie twins appear in court
Johannesburg - THE terrorism-accused Thulsie twins have now been supplied all particulars they need to prepare for their trial, except evidence about their alleged plan to make bombs.
Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee Thulsie made another appearance at the South Gauteng High Court, Johannesburg, to hear about preparations for their trial.
Security was tight in courtroom 6E. People entering the courtroom had to produce ID and their contact details to NPA officials, while police conducted body searches.
Arrested in 2016 during raids in Newclare and Azaadville, on the West Rand, Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee were still attending pre-trial proceedings.
Their trial date was kept at bay by dragging discussions and debates between their lawyers and the NPA about particulars of the case against them.
They abandoned their bail application in October 2016, a factor contributing to why they have been in jail since arrest.
Police nabbed the two after intercepting data allegedly linking them to the Islamic State, a Middle-East jihadist militant group.
It is believed one of the twins discussed terror plans with an undercover US FBI agent between May and June 2016.
The agent disguised himself as an ISIS militant based in the US. Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee allegedly planned to bomb the US embassy and Jewish institutions in South Africa.
Affluent Jews and Jews who fight in Israel and return to South Africa were also allegedly on their radar. Cartoonist Zapiro would also allegedly be targeted for drawing cartoons that offended Muslims. The twins also allegedly planned to target an unidentified gay imam.
State prosecutor Adele Barnard told the court that the twins, imprisoned in Pretoria’s Kgosi Mampuru prison while awaiting their trial, have been handed over all documents their counsel requested for trial preparation.
“The bomb-making plans were not given to the accused in prison for obvious reasons,” said Barnard.
Last December, Barnard told the court the State would need to fork out R77 000 to print out documents detailing its entire evidence against twins.
It appeared these documents have now been printed out and handed over to the defence lawyers for trial preparation. The defence team was expected to request more documents.
Barnard also informed Judge Raylene Keightley that there were plans to bring a new bail application for the twins.
Judge Keightley heard that advocate Anneline van den Heever would be brought back into the case to make the bail bid.
Van den Heever represented the pair during the abandoned bail application at the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court. She was not in court.
Bilal Bodhania, a lawyer representing the twins in the pre-trial proceedings, told the court he would not submit anything about the bail plans.
Judge Keightley lambasted the defence team for allegedly not doing enough to secure additional particulars from the NPA they would need for trial.
“My observation is that there is an attempt by the defence to delay by all means,” Judge Keightley said.
“It seems to me everyone is far more concerned about the bail application which is floating in the air than getting this matter ready for trial.”
The trial date was set for October 7.