Johannesburg Magistrate Pieter du Plessis has on Monday ruled that twins Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee Thulsie, who are accused of plotting terror attacks against the US embassy and Jewish establishments in South Africa, were lawfully arrested and lawfully kept in custody.
Du Plessis said the issue before court was whether the arrest of the Thulsie twins was lawful or not – it was his finding that both the arrest and subsequent incarceration were lawful.
Last month the police arrested the 23-year-old twins after they searched their home and found documents that they said incriminated them in terror plots and planning to join the terror group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
The pair, who have been behind bars for more than a month, had initially been expected to apply for bail, but instead they decided to challenge the lawfulness of their arrest.
They claim that because police only had a search warrant their arrest was unlawful. But police argued they arrested the pair without a warrant because they had found incriminating documents.
On Monday Du Plessis said: “Police had reasonable cause to arrest them”. The magistrate then said the bail application should proceed.
However, Advocate Annelene van den Heever, a representative for the twins, told the Johannesburg Magistrates’ Court that she wished to take the matter to the High Court.
The Thulsie twins have been charged with conspiracy and incitement to commit the crime of terrorism and conspiring and attempting to commit acts associated with terrorist activities.
Their tearful mother Wasiela Thulsie was in the public gallery. Other family members were seen consoling her after the ruling.
Outside the court, National Prosecution Authority (NPA) spokesperson Phindi Louw welcomed the ruling. “It had been our argument all along that the twins were lawfully arrested,” she said.
Louw added the basis of the magistrate’s ruling was the statement by the state witness Ronaldo Smit, as well as the items that were found when the twins were arrested.
“As the NPA, we will be opposing their application as we still maintain that the twins were lawfully arrested and detained.”
The court adjourned till Friday and twins were remanded.
– African News Agency (ANA)