Bernadette Wicks
Senior court reporter
1 minute read
9 Dec 2021
6:30 am

Thulsie twins fail to have case dropped due to ‘irregularity’

Bernadette Wicks

Earlier this year – as their long-anticipated trial was finally about to kick off in the High Court in Johannesburg – the Thulsies launched an application to have their case struck from the roll.

The Thulsie twins, Tony-Lee and Brandon-Lee, at the Johannesburg High Court, 27 January 2021. They are facing charges of terrorism and have been in custody since they were arrested in July 2016. Picture: Neil McCartney

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has shot down another attempt by the terror-accused Thulsie twins to have their case thrown out over what their legal team has described as an “irregularity”.

Thulsie twins case shot down

Earlier this year – as their long-anticipated trial was finally about to kick off in the High Court in Johannesburg – the Thulsies launched an application to have their case struck from the roll.

Their lawyers argued a case only fell to be transferred if the court it was first enrolled in did not have jurisdiction to try it.

They argued this had not been the case because the regional court also had the jurisdiction to try terrorism cases.

Application to transfer case

Further, they argued, the decision should have been made by the regional magistrate who was initially allocated the case but it was in fact made by the director of public prosecutions.

But state advocate Adele Barnard said it was late to raise the issue and the National Prosecuting Authority in any case had the discretion to decide where it wanted to run its trials.

She said the state had applied to transfer the case because if they were convicted, it was planning on seeking
life imprisonment for Tony-Lee and Brandon-Lee Thulsie.

Application dismissed

In the high court, Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng dismissed the application, finding even if there had been an irregularity it would not be in the interests of justice to strike the matter off the roll at this stage.

The Thulsies then approached the SCA with an application for leave to appeal Mokgoatlheng’s decision.

This was dismissed. The case is due back in court early next year.

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