Court on lock-down as bail application of alleged Isis loyalist continues
There was a heavy police presence around the Verulam family court as the bail application for one of the three alleged Isis loyalists continued on Friday.
Court officials, members of the public and media were barred from entering the court for the second day, as the bail application of Ahmad Jackson Mussa, a 35-year-old Malawian citizen, continued.
"No one is allowed in. Yesterday someone tried to take pictures and the metro police chased him down and made him delete them. Security is very tight," said a guard who asked not to be named.
It is understood that Mussa was accompanied by his co-accused Sayfudeen Aslam Del Vecchio and Bibi Fatima Patel, who were denied bail last year.
The trio face a raft of charges pertaining to the kidnapping and murder of Cape Town-based British botanists Rodney and Rachel Saunders in February last year.
During their last appearance, Del Vecchio insisted that he and Patel be present at Mussa’s bail application because it directly affected their case.
The details surrounding the sudden decision to hold the matter in camera were not clear but National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Natasha Kara, said is was for "security reasons".
Hawks spokesperson Capt Lloyd Ramovha, told TimesLIVE on Thursday, that the decision to have the court closed to the public was not irregular.
"There is absolutely nothing out of the ordinary with the security measures put in place. We are just being proactive and can never be too careful.
"As you would remember, the suspects are facing serious charges which also relate to alleged terrorism in contravention of the Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorism and Related Activities Act," he said.