Image of Johannesburg Magistrates court
Johannesburg – Members of the community are holding a demonstration today outside the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court in support of the Thulsie family and to call for the twins’ release.
CAGE Africa previously called attention to the fact that much of the state’s case against the Thulsie twins is built around the statement of a witness who claims he was threatened.
According to documents seen by CAGE Africa, Arshaad (Ronaldo) Smith claims that the chief investigating officer threatened to lock up members of his family, and made him sign a statement against the twins that he had not properly read.
We urge closer scrutiny of this evidence and the way in which it was procured, so that the trial is perceived as fair in the eyes of the community, and in order to adhere to due process.
Karen Jayes, spokesperson for CAGE Africa, said:
“It is crucial that the court quickly evaluate the evidence in this case against the twins in a manner that is fair and which adheres to the rule of law. Using evidence that is procured through force or deception falls foul of due process, and will alienate and anger the community.”
“The right to a fair trial is enshrined in our constitution and violating this principle under current counter-terrorism legislation sets a dangerous precedent in the way these cases are heard. It could even result in innocent people being tried and convicted under current laws.”
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(CC image courtesy of Laurice Taitz on flickr)
(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)