The case of the Thulsie ‘terror twins’ was postponed until Thursday to allow a police officer to bring to court evidence seized at the house in Florida‚ Johannesburg‚ where the twins were arrested on July 9
Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee Thulsie had been in custody since their arrest at Brandon-Lee’s house.
On Thursday‚ the brothers brought an application before the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court to declare their arrest unlawful.
They say they were taken into custody by police officers without arrest warrants. If they succeed‚ they may be released.
The Thulsies face three counts of terrorism relating to alleged attempts to travel to Syria to join the terrorist organisation the Islamic State (IS)‚ and alleged plans to attack US and Jewish interests in South Africa.
The court has to decide whether‚ at the time they were arrested‚ the police had credible evidence to arrest them.
The twins have stated their arrests were made in the absence of credible evidence against them.
Annelene van der Heever SC‚ for the brothers‚ cross-examined investigating officer Wynand Olivier who testified the brothers were arrested after he received information from another suspect‚ Ronaldo Smit.
Olivier said Smit had informed him on July 9 during a search at his house that the brothers wanted to travel to Syria to join IS.
Van der Heever asked whether Olivier endeavoured to verify any of Smits’s information.
“The answers were verification of what we already knew‚” Olivier said.
Van der Heever asked Olivier whether he had seen any mentions on Facebook that the twins wanted to join IS. Olivier said their posts showed they supported the terrorist organisation.
Van der Heever said there was nothing in the Facebook posts Olivier presented to court that showed the brothers supported IS.
“This is social comment in general‚” she said.
She also asked Olivier why he did not execute the search warrant when he obtained it on July 6. Olivier replied that it was during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and police did not want to offend the feelings of Muslims.
When asked why the warrant was not executed on July 7‚ Olivier said this was a big operation and police needed to ensure everything was in place before they searched.
Earlier Olivier testified that he received information in November that Tony-Lee Thulsie was in the process of building an explosive device and was looking for a trigger mechanism to set off the device.
Olivier testified he had been tracing the activities of the twins and Ronaldo Smit from May last year after he was informed that they had tried to fly to Turkey and then to Syria to join IS.