No explosives were found at the homes of terrorism-accused twins Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee Thulsie, the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court heard on Thursday.
Before proceedings got underway, police refused to allow the twins to change their dirty clothes. Their lawyer Anneline van den Heever said her clients’ request to change clothes had not been denied before, even in the High Court.
They were in court in a bid to have their arrests declared unlawful.
During questioning by Van den Heever, investigating officer Wynand Olivier told the court that the bomb squad found no explosives at the two houses searched by the police. The bomb squad told him that explosives could be at another location, he told her.
She said he was presenting his opinions as facts.
The 23-year-old twins were allegedly plotting attacks on a US embassy and Jewish cultural sites in South Africa. They were arrested during raids in Newclare and Azaadville on Saturday, July 9. They face three counts of contravening the Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorist and Related Activities Act.
At a previous court appearance on July 29, the State produced photos showing the twins holding what appeared to be an assault rifle and a bomb belt.
Van den Heever said the twins were in fact holding a paintball gun, and that Olivier interpreted this to be a rifle.
“Subsequently the media proved it not to be that, and it was found to be a paintball gun. At the time I saw it, it looked like a rifle and vest,” Olivier replied.
“You can’t tell me without any prior knowledge you would have thought differently.”
Van den Heever told the court she would argue later that Olivier had changed his version of events.