Brandon-Lee Thulsie and Tony-Lee Thulsie
The twins‚ who have been identified as Brandon-Lee Thulsie and Tony-Lee Thulsie‚ appeared in a packed Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday for allegedly trying to aid the cause of the Islamic State‚ by conspiring with others to blow up targets inside South Africa.
Casting and artist management agency Kingclip confirmed that the twin brothers are currently active on their database but say they have not been in touch with them‚ only learning of their arrest on Monday.
“We do have the boys on our database but as far as I am concerned they could be in Cape Town or anywhere around Joburg at the moment. News of their arrest is very new to me. I am actually very shocked‚” an agency representative‚ who wished not to be named‚ said.
Deidre Sisson‚ a neighbour of the twins‚ said that the casting agency photographs seen on Kingclip’s website were those belonging to Brandon-Lee.
“They were taken when he tried out for casting. They are on still on his old Facebook page‚” she said.
A scan through Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee’s social media accounts paints different personalities to the 23-year-old men who are currently in holding cells for allegedly trying to cause harm to others.
The twins who referred to themselves as the “Boss Brothers”‚ appear to be loving‚ sociable and family-orientated.
’’Just the fact that I‚ me‚ Brandon-Lee Thulsie put tear(z) in my mothrz eyes killed me. . .I gues im yet another step away from matric :). . congradz to those who passed‚ those who failed. . .we just have to work harder‚” shared Brandon-Lee in one of his posts.
The pair also appeared to have goals to make it big in the entertainment industry through their production and events company Traffic Jam.
The “Boss” twins last tweeted in November 2012.
The more recently active Facebook account of Yaqeen Ibn Hernani‚ however‚ which according to Sisson belongs to Brandon-Lee‚ appears to be that of a devout Muslim.
On July 5 Hernani‚ posted: “If Allah is with you‚ who can be against you? Who dare be against you? If Allah is against you‚ who dare be with you?…”
Hernani had also posted a photo of the Islamic State flag.
The brothers were arrested over the weekend together with brother and sister Ibrahim and Fatima Patel after Hawks officers‚ using informants and intelligence agents‚ infiltrated the group after learning of their plans to allegedly travel to Syria last year via Turkey.
The raids occurred on the suspects’ homes in Newclare in Johannesburg‚ as well as Florida and Azzadville on the West Rand.
Hawks spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said police seized weapons‚ ammunition and explosive devices‚ including stun grenades.
The four were‚ according to well-placed police sources‚ allegedly involved in recruitment of people allegedly wanting to join ISIS.
Mulaudzi said the suspects appeared in courts on Monday on terrorism related charges‚ as well as the illegal possession of arms‚ ammunition and explosives.
The twins have been charged under the 2004 Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorism and Other Related Activities Act.
The Patel siblings appeared in the Kagiso Magistrate’s Court on Monday on charges relating to the illegal possession of explosives and ammunition.
“They were arrested in connection with the terrorist investigation being conducted [into] the Thulsie twins‚” Mulaudzi said.
He added that plans were underway to have all four appear in court together soon.