The State on Friday submitted an affidavit, detailing what it said was proof that twins Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee Thulsie had planned to leave South Africa for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
The Thulsie twins, who were arrested more than two weeks ago, are accused of plotting a attack in which they allegedly planned to detonate explosions at a US Mission in South Africa and at Jewish institutions in the country.
During proceedings at the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court, prosecutor Chris MacAdam handed up an affidavit by investigating officer Wynand Olivier in which he provided photographs, as well as information of items he found when the twins were arrested.
In the affidavit, Olivier said that he had evidence that indicated that the Thulsie twins attempted to leave South Africa on two occasions, as well as that a bank account was opened where a member of ISIL based outside the country allegedly deposited money to fund their trip to Syria. Olivier also included a photograph of a social media post where one of the twins apparently criticised Muslims for condemning ISIL after recent Paris attacks.
Defence counsel for the twins have this week argued for their release, saying they had been unlawfully arrested. The pair were arrested, along with two others, on July 10, by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) during a operation in Newclare and Azaadville.
The Thulsie brothers both face three counts relating to engaging in acts of terrorism. The provisional charge sheet indicates the twins had, during the period between October 2015 and and July 8, 2016, conspired to commit terrorist activities in Johannesburg.
The State alleges the brothers “unlawfully and intentionally conspired to commit the crime of terrorism” by planning to cause explosions at a mission of the United States of America and Jewish institutions located within South Africa. The conspiracy and incitement were linked to the “political, religious or ideological motives” of the ISIL, read the charges.
The matter was postponed to August 1 and the twins were remanded.
The family of the Thulsie brothers have disputed the state’s evidence against the brothers. The family’s spokesperson Karen Jayes says the family believe the photo is that of the brothers preparing to play paintball, a hobby they enjoyed.
Jayes said the Thulsie family were hoping the states would withdraw its case on Friday, as they want the brothers to return home.
[Source: ANA / VOC)