It has emerged that South African Jewish cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro was one of the planned ‘targets’ of Thulsie twins – Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee.
The state said on Tuesday that Shapiro, who is known under the pseudonym Zapiro made his way to the hit list for allegedly drawing the Messenger of Allah cartoon.
One of the twins, Tony-Lee reportedly spoke with Abu Fida‚ an ISIS network‚ and others‚ whose identities are unknown to the state‚ about killing “Zapiro, who drew the Messenger of Allah cartoon”.
Seven other targets on the hit list include King David High School in Linksfield‚ Johannesburg‚ and Jewish investment manager Roy Topol.
The state also divulged that the brothers would have perpetrated the terrorist acts using firearms‚ explosives and possibly poisons.
They also had planned to act against the High Commission of the UK in Pretoria‚ the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Pretoria‚ the Embassy of the United States of America in Pretoria‚ the First Secretary to the French Mission in SA (Pretoria)‚ Mr J-B MP Prouhet.
Thulsie twins, who come from Newclare‚ west of Johannesburg‚ were arrested on July 9, 2016, the police raided their home.
Their trial history indicated that the brothers had made plans to travel to Syria to join Islamic State and also attack the US‚ UK‚ Russian and Jewish interests in SA between August 2015 and July 2016.
During their court appearance at the Johannesburg Magistrate Court today, the 23-year-old brothers were slapped with another charge – which brought the number of charges against them to 12.
The 12th count affirmed that the terror-accused brothers tried leaving the country through the Ficksburg border post in the Free State‚ using fraudulent Lesotho passports in August 2015, as contained in a 13-page provisional indictment against the identical twins.
The National Prosecuting Authority’s Luvuyo Mfaku added that the last charge “relates to the protection of SA’s constitutional democracy against terrorism. So it’s in line with other charges and it will be added to the indictment as the 12th charge.”
Their court appearance was wrapped up after prosecutor Chris MacAdam asked the court to postpone the case in order to finalize whether the 12th count – which falls outside the jurisdiction of the Gauteng High Court – will be tried alongside the other counts.
Meanwhile, they are expected to return to the court on May 15. Their family members who were in court to show them support broke down when they heard that the matter has been postponed yet again.