Isis WhatsApp: British couple is 'good hunt'

Isis-accused pair appears in court as British couple remains missing

07 March 2018 - 07:30 By Jeff Wicks
Fatima Patel in the Verulam Magistrate's Court.
Fatima Patel in the Verulam Magistrate's Court.
Image: Thuli Dlamini

Sayfydeen Aslam Del Vecchio and his wife, Fatima Patel, interlocked their fingers as they stood in the dock of the Verulam Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

During a break, seemingly oblivious to those watching them, Patel rested her head on her husband’s shoulder, leaning into him as they exchanged secretive whispers.

The stolen embrace belied the brutal crime of which they stand accused – orchestrating the disappearance of South African-Britons Rod and Rachel Saunders as a “good hunt”.

Del Vecchio and his bride, as well as their teenage neighbour Themba Xulu, are accused of abducting the prominent Cape Town botanists, draining their bank accounts and stealing their car.

But as the state builds its case against the couple, loyalists of terror group Isis, the nefarious motive behind the alleged abduction of the Saunders has been brought to the fore.  

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