In a twist in the case of missing botanists Dr Rachel and Rodney Saunders, an affidavit has revealed details of the ISIS loyalists who planned their moves carefully before pouncing on the elderly couple, reports the Zululand Observer.
The affidavit was submitted to the Verulam Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday where the three accused in the case of the missing Saunders appeared for their bail application.
Advocate Jay Naidoo, acting on behalf of Sayfydeen Aslam Del Vecchio (38) and Fatima Patel (27), who are married under traditional Islamic law and have been linked to ISIS, told the court that he needed time to consult with his clients and was unprepared to commence with a formal bail application.
Meanwhile, Thembamandla Xulu (19), the third accused in the case, will have to wait to hear if he will be granted bail as Magistrate Vallaraman Kathuravaloo reserved his judgment.
They are all expected to appear back in court on 22 March.
The accused are charged relating to the abduction of SA-British botanists Rodney (74) and Rachel (63).
Patel had earlier appeared in her full niqab head scarf with a black leather jacket and black Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers.
Del Vecchio appeared with a white shirt, long hair and a full beard, clutching a bag with a thick book – possibly the Koran – protruding from it.
Asked by the presiding magistrate if he had anything to say, Xulu claimed innocence, telling the court he did not know why he had been arrested and was brought to court.
Along with footage of the suspects’ house, in the video below are previously unpublished photos from the day of the arrests of Del Vecchio and Patel – including a picture of the ISIS flag at their homestead.