Thulsies can't use 'wrongful arrest' in bail application: magistrate


Brandon Lee and Tony Lee Thulsie appeared at the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court for terrorism-related offences.

• Editor&39;s note: Correction to previously published article. The State claimed in papers that it expected to find a "suicide vest" at one of the Thulsie twins&39; home. A vest was not found.

JOHANNESBURG - A Johannesburg magistrate on Tuesday said Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee Thulsie -- who are facing terror-related charges -- could not use "wrongful arrest" as "exceptional circumstances" in their bail application.

The twins, who were arrested two weeks ago on suspicion of plotting to detonate bombs at the US Mission in South Africa and Jewish establishments in the country, say they were wrongly arrested and for that reason should be granted bail.

READ: US embassy warns of planned terrorist attacks in SA

Magistrate Pieter du Plessis, who was presiding in the Johannesburg magistrate’s court, said that the matter of being unlawfully arrested was a separate issue.

"Whether they were lawfully or unlawfully arrested can’t be a factor when applying for bail and they would have to convince the court as to why they felt they were unlawfully arrested," said Du Plessis.

State prosecutor, Chris MacAdam agreed with the magistrate and said he would approach his colleagues on how they would deal with the matter.

Earlier, defence Advocate Anneline Van den Heever handed the affidavits of the Thulsie twins to the court and Du Plessis read through them in silence.

Some of the twins’ family members, who were sitting in the gallery, were crying while the court waited for Du Plessis to comment on the affidavits he was reading.

The Thulsie twins are facing charges of conspiracy and incitement to commit the crime of terrorism and conspiring and attempting to commit acts associated with terrorist activities.

READ: Twins allegedly plotted to bomb US mission in SA

Du Plessis said that the issue that was raised was with regards to the arrests. He asked Van den Heever whether she didn’t think the twins’ submission was meant to be made during their first appearance.

Du Plessis said that the affidavits said the Thulsie twins were not meant to be in court.

"What you’ve brought is this must be set aside because they are unlawfully before the court and a bail application is saying what circumstances, why they should be released from custody pending their trial," said Du Plessis.

He said that the application for dismissal had to be dealt with because they couldn’t have it along with a bail application.

"I have dealt with a similar situation in the high Court with Justice Masipa," Van den Heever said.

Du Plessis said that Van den Heever was basically saying that he was meant to grant the twins bail because they felt that they were in court unlawfully, which she denied.