Battles loom in 2 courts over Thulsie twins
The Thulsie twins’ advocate, Annalene van den Heever, immediately gave notice that she is taking the matter to the High Court to challenge the legality of her clients’ arrest.
The twins were arrested by the Hawks on July 9 and accused of crimes under the Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorist Related Activities Act 33 of 2004 (Terrorism Act), including planning to blow up (as yet unnamed) Jewish institutions in Johannesburg. The matter was postponed to this Friday for a bail application.
RIGHT: The twins’ sister Sumaya Lackay and their mother, Wasiela Thulsie (hiding) with an unidentified associate and advocate Annelene van den Heever outside the Joburg Magistrate’s Court
However, under the Terrorism Act they do not qualify for automatic bail and the onus is on them to show reasons why they should be granted bail. Given the State’s claim that the twins were part of a cell which had been at an advanced state of planning to blow up one US and various Jewish installations in Johannesburg, and that they were trying to buy detonators on the international market (which appears to be what prompted the arrests), the chances of them being granted bail are considered to be slim, a legal pundit told SAJR this week.
Charges under the Terrorism Act are considered Schedule 6 offences, which means the applicants need to prove “special and extraordinary circumstances” exist in order to obtain bail.
Their defence has been in the hands of attorney Mahomed Afzal Abba who has briefed advocate Van den Heever. The Thulsies have provisionally been charged on three counts under the Act (see the charge sheet on our website).
LEFT: An older picture of the twins. Today they have beards and police have forbidden media from taking their pictures
Neither advocate Van den Heever nor Abba, would speak to Jewish Report this week, and it is not known whether they plan to ask the magistrate at Friday’s bail hearing for leave to appeal his decision, or to approach the High Court directly to review the magistrate’s ruling.
The National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) Gauteng spokesman, Phindi Louw, says the State will oppose any approach to the High Court. “We will be opposing that application as we still maintain that the twins are lawfully detained.”
Last month Hawks senior spokesman, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi, told Jewish Report that while conducting a search of one of the Thulsie twins’ homes, police found a list of intended targets, all but one of which were Jewish targets. This is confirmed on the NPA charge sheet.
South African authorities had been trying for some time to identify a South African using the code name “Simba” who had allegedly been communicating with ISIS. Foreign intelligence agencies discovered that “Simba” was at an advanced stage of building bombs and had been looking for a trigger mechanism on the web. South African intelligence was tipped off to this.
The Hawks initially raided the home of Ronaldo Smith (also known as Arashad Smith) who agreed to turn state witness and identified Tony-Lee Thulsie as “Simba”. Smith is presently under police protection. He has since requested to recant his evidence and leave police protection but the State has not agreed to this and there is no way under SA jurisprudence that he can unilaterally do so.
Should he continue to maintain his present position, he would probably eventually appear in court as a “hostile” witness.
SAJR understands from someone close to the investigation who spoke on the basis of confidentiality that national intelligence has taken charge of some items of evidence, including the list of potential targets.