Thulsie twins’ arrest was lawful, court rules

Johannesburg - The arrest of Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee Thulsie was lawfully executed by police officers, the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court declared on Monday.

The mother of the twins, Wasiela, burst into tears as Magistrate Pieter du Plessis read out his ruling, with family members hugging her in support.

Du Plessis ruled that the items recovered when the search warrant was executed “certainly indicated interest” in organisations associated with terrorism.

He added that one of alleged suspects, Renaldo Smit, had indicated that he would testify, and had given enough information to police to execute an arrest.

“Suspicions, together with confirmation of the witness, would in the court’s view be sufficient to have reasonable suspicion of offense…”

Du Plessis said the fact that the twins were stripped twice while attempting to leave the country also played a part in his decision.

“Therefore, it is the court’s ruling that both of them were arrested lawfully and lawfully taken into custody,” Du Plessis said.

The defence lawyer for the twins, Anneline van den Heever, immediately stated that she would file an urgent application to the High Court to attempt the arrest be declared unlawful.

NPA spokesperson Phindi Louw told journalists outside the court that the decision was welcomed and that the State would oppose the High Court application.

The brothers would remain in custody, with their bail hearing set for Friday, August 19.

Earlier in the matter, Van den Heever said she felt the arrest had not been lawfully executed.

“You cannot arrest people on far-fetched allegations,” Van den Heever told the court.

The twins were allegedly plotting attacks on a US embassy and Jewish cultural sites in South Africa. They were arrested during raids in Newclare and Azaadville on Saturday July 9.

They face three counts of contravening the Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorist and Related Activities Act.



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