Human Rights Group CAGE Africa says it has noted a “disturbing trend” amongst South Africa media to label Sallahuddin (Brandon-Lee) and Yakeen (Tony-Lee) Thulsie as “terror twins”. The 23 year old brothers have been charged with three counts of contravening the Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorist and Related Activities Act. This after the Hawks conducted a raid at their home in Newclare two weeks ago and allegedly found evidence that the pair were planning to bomb an American mission and Jewish institutions in Johannesburg.
According to CAGE Africa, its been greatly concerned that South African media have resorted to sensational reporting on the case.
“Not only is this appellation inflammatory, pejorative and defamatory, it displays an alarming insensitivity to the rights of accused persons and contributes to creating a climate of fear and suspicion,” said spokesperson Karen Jayes, representing the family of the twins.
She said South Africa must appreciate from its own past that the term ‘terrorist’ is often selectively applied for ulterior purpose. Using this term loosely and prior to any conviction violates the twins’ constitutional rights and offends the principle that an accused is innocent until proven guilty.
“Last week, two AWB men were arrested with between them 11 rifles, 2 shotguns, 2 pistols and around 2400 rounds of ammunition. They were not labelled terrorists.”
“Labelling is problematic per se. It is all the more dangerous when used selectively against a group or sector of the community. We reiterate that anti-terror legislation should not be used selectively against Muslims.”
“CAGE Africa calls for full disclosure of the evidence against Sallahuddin and Yakeen, and the manner in which it was obtained, as well as transparency and adherence to the rule of law.” VOC