Africa

Thulsie twins expected back in court on Monday for trial date

The Thulsie twins are expected back in court on Monday for a trial date to be set. Tony-Lee and Brandon-Lee Thulsie were arrested in 2016 following raids in various parts of Gauteng. They’re accused of being part of Jihadist groups and plotting attacks on South African soil.

Civil organisations say their incarceration is unlawful and unacceptable. The Media Review Network is calling for the brothers to be released if their trial date is not finalised.

Twin brothers Tony Lee and Brandon Lee Thulsie made headlines in July 2016 when they were arrested in Newclare, Johannesburg. They were accused of having links to the Islamic State group, and the state alleged they were plotting to detonate explosives at the US embassy and Jewish institutions in the country.

Since their arrest five years ago, the pair has not set foot outside prison.

“We are deeply concerned about the fate of the 2 brothers the Thulsie twins, who have been unfairly dubbed as terror twins. They have effectively been detained for the past 5 years without trial. This raises many questions, one about the irregularity lawfulness of arrest in 2016 now the state has been floundering in providing any sustainable or credible evidence think it’s highly shocking and unfair for us in a democracy to have such a case on our hands that these boys are being incarcerated and the keys have effectively been thrown away,” Media Review Network’s Iqbal Jassat explains.

The Thulsie case has been marred by a myriad of delays from the onset, which legal experts say is not completely unusual.

“Delays are justified in criminal trials when there are reasonable within a life cycle of a matter. There are delays for a myriad of reasons – often witnesses unavailable for whatever reason or certain documentation not shared in time and other party needs time to consider the documentation. Other times investigations are still ongoing, bail application. In those instances delays are reasonable,” says Attorney Reitumetse Phiri.

The brothers abandoned their bail application in 2016 and unsuccessfully tried again last year.

In December, the defence brought an application to have the matter postponed to March this year. However, Judge Ramarumo Monama declined the postponement, slamming both the state and defence over the delays. Iqbal Jassat says the delays are unacceptable…

“It’s incredible that the state has taken 5 years and to date haven’t been able to gather a case. It’s intriguing to discover that the state had been relying on foreign evidence largely in order to augment its so-called case against them. The delays are not only unacceptable but they undermine the justice due to these boys,” defends Jassat.

The state claims it’s been ready for trial from January this year, however, the defence rejects this claim.

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