South Africa 20.2.2018 08:06 am

Terror-accused twins back in Joburg court

Thulsie Twins.

Thulsie Twins.

The twins have been in custody since they were arrested in July 2016.

Terror-accused twins Brandon-lee and Tony-lee Thulsie are expected to appear in the Johannesburg High Court on Tuesday, facing charges related to plotting terrorist attacks.

They were arrested in July 2016, for being suspected of plotting terrorist attacks on various Jewish institutions in South Africa and individuals; as well as attempting to join militant Islamist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) .

On December 12, the court postponed pre-trial proceedings to allow for arguments on the constitutionality of the Terrorism Act.

The twins have been in custody since they were arrested in July 2016. They were 23 years old when they were picked up by police.

In December, defence attorney, Annelene van den Heever for the twins, told Judge Raylene Keightley that all parties had agreed on postponing the matter. Keightley also ordered that the minister of police be present for the proceedings.

Asked if there was any movement on the declaration of the constitutionality of the Terrorism Act in another matter, State prosecutor, Chris MacAdam, said judgment had been reserved and might be handed down in February or March.

However, Van Den Heever had argued that the issues in that case were not similar to the issues she was arguing regarding the Terrorism Act.

The Thulsie twins have been charged with 12 counts relating to contraventions of the Protection of the Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorist and Related Activities Act and the 13th charge is for fraud, linked to the alleged use of fake passports.

On October 20, Van den Heever told the court that she intended to challenge the constitutionality of the South African Terrorism Act. In the pretrial proceedings, Van den Heever told Keightley that she would be submitting a constitutional defence application and that she would make other pretrial applications. Keightley ordered Van den Heever to prepare a pretrial draft with time lines.

A 13-page indictment of the matter suggests that the twins were attempting to join ISIS and that the terrorist activities would have been perpetrated by using firearms, explosives and possibly poisons.

The attacks would have been directed at various embassies of countries including the United Kingdom, Russia, and the United States of America (USA)based in Pretoria. Other targets listed included cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro (known as Zapiro), Jewish South African Investment Manager, Roy Topol, and King David High School Linksfield.

In September, the USA froze the assets and imposed other sanctions on the Thulsie twins.

– African News Agency (ANA)

Terror-accused Thulsie twins back in Joburg court

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