Johannesburg – Lawyers for the Thulsie twins are applying to the High Court to declare the searches of the premises of the Thulsie twins on 9 July unlawful. They are also applying for the confiscation and destruction of the material seized in consequence of the unlawful search.
The police had a warrant only for one of the houses where Salluhuddin (Brendon-Lee) lives with his mother, Wasiela. Lawyers contend that the warrant should never have been issued in the first place. They submit in Court papers that when the search warrant was obtained ex parte, the information disclosed by the police on oath did not give rise to any reasonable suspicion of the commission of any crime and in particular, that the twins were linked with ISIS.
Police did not produce an affidavit or information on oath to accompany the search warrant, as is required by law. A copy of the affidavit was only provided to their lawyers seven days later, and upon request.
Furthermore, they submit that the method of carrying out the search was excessive and an abuse of power. The search on Sallahuddin’s (Brandon-Lee) home was done by between 20 and 30 armed police officers before sunrise, who held them at gunpoint on the floor and only produced a search warrant after they had messed up the lounge. When they did produce the search warrant, both signed in a climate of fear, without being informed of their constitutional right for legal representation, or not to sign.
At the second home, Yakeen’s (Tony-Lee) cottage which he shares with his wife Aadila, in Florida, police did not produce a search warrant at all, but broke in to the main house and the cottage, and proceeded to search and question them for 1.5 hours. Aadila claims she and her husband were made to sign a consent to search in a climate of intimidation as there were 10 armed police officers in their house. Moreover, the search warrant issued from Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court does not have jurisdiction over this premises.
Under law, no questioning is permitted during a search, individuals have a right not to consent to the search, and searches must be conducted in daylight.
Karen Jayes, spokesperson for CAGE Africa, said:
“The manner in which the Thulsie homes were searched demonstrates an abuse of power by police and if the Court agrees that there was no basis for the search in the first place, a breach of the rule of law. The method of the search was excessive. Both families thought they were being burgled.”
“Not only did police break into the main house adjoining Yakeen’s residence, but they also broke and entered into Sallahuddin’s neighbour’s house, even though the number on the house was clearly different from the number they were looking for. This caused a great amount of fear in the community, and it demands an investigation and an apology.”
“We call on police to act according to the rule of law and refrain from creating a fear-charged environment. Breaches of the law by police antagonise and alienate communities and result in more anger. There are better, more co-operative ways to handle the situation.”
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(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.)