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Terrorism-accused Thulsie twins sentenced after plea deal with the state

07 February 2022 - 21:30
Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee Thulsie have been found guilty of terrorism.
Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee Thulsie have been found guilty of terrorism.
Image: Facebook

On the day they were to appear in court for their trial, twins Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee Thulsie entered a plea deal with the state and have been sentenced on terrorism-related charges.

Brandon-Lee received eight years and Tony-Lee 11 years in the Johannesburg high court on Monday.

The NPA confirmed the agreement.

"In the interest of justice, the NPA entered into a plea and sentence agreement with the accused in terms of section 105A of the Criminal Procedure Act. We are of the view that justice has been served," said spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwana.

The siblings have spent six years in jail after their arrest in July 2016. They were accused of conspiracy‚ incitement to commit the crime of terrorism, and conspiring and attempting to commit acts associated with terrorist activities after plotting to blow up the US Embassy and Jewish institutions in SA on behalf of terror group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

In an interview with Salaamedia, published on Twitter, their attorney Nadeem Mohamed said that because of the nature of the charges, some parts of the plea deal will remain confidential.

The 12 original charges were removed to accommodate the charges they pled guilty to.

According to the Daily Maverick, in exchange for their guilty pleas, the state withdrew other charges which include financing terrorist activities and soliciting support for a terrorist organisation. 

They pled guilty to the following: 

  • Both pled guilty to attempting to travel to Syria twice in 2015 to join Islamic State and ISIL for terrorist activities.
  • Both pled guilty to downloading ISIL literature, including manuals on making and acquiring explosives.
  • Tony-Lee pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit a terrorist attack in SA.
  • Tony-Lee pled guilty to requesting instructions on how to make an explosive device, mentioning the targets were US, UK, Russian or French diplomats and embassies in Pretoria, and Jewish interests. He said he would blow himself up in the attack.

According to Newzroom Afrika the literature downloaded included an e-book called How to Survive the West Mujahid 2015. The news agency said the material includes a step-by-step guide on how to evade law-enforcement and intelligent agencies “so one can ultimately train and carry out an attack”.

Judge Ratha Mokgoathleng said the six years that the twins have spent in custody will be deducted from their terms.

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