It will take them a while but Salahuddin and Yakeen Thulsie, also known as the Thulsie Twins, are ready to return to normal life, according to their attorney Adv. Nadeem Mahomed. The duo was released on parole on Thursday.
Mahommed hailed the release as a victory for the twins, whom he said had been under “oppression” since they were arrested on terrorism-related charges in 2016.
Their release comes six months after their trial was concluded in the Johannesburg High Court. They made a plea agreement with the state after spending six years behind bars awaiting trial.
The Thulsie Twins were accused of conspiracy‚ incitement to commit terrorism and conspiring – and attempting – to carry out terrorist activities after plotting to blow up the US embassy and Jewish institutions in South Africa.
“There’s naturally a certain anxiety that comes with it. Their bodies need to adjust to being in open spaces – not being chained up, not having chains on their ankles, not being constantly monitored,” he said.
“I think with their family who are so unbelievably supportive, they’ve got a really huge family network who are so incredibly supportive of them. They really need to get their minds cleared; they need to come out of that phase that they were in [where] they were constantly fighting in their minds,” said Mahomed.
On Friday, spokesperson for the Department of Correctional Services, Singabakho Nxumalo, confirmed that the Thulsie Twins were placed on parole on August 18.
“According to the warrants, their sentences were backdated to their date of arrest and the time spent awaiting trial to be considered as time served. That being a period of five years and seven months.”
“Brandon-Lee Thulsie, who was sentenced to eight years, had already served past the minimum detention period of July 8 2020, whereas the 11 years of sentence given to Tony-Lee Thulsie meant his minimum detention period was January 5 2022. Consequently, they were both considered for parole placement in accordance with section 73 of the Correctional Services Act.”
Nxumalo said the two would remain in the community corrections system until their sentences expired.
Mahomed said Salahuddin and Yakeen were eager to move on from this phase in their lives.
“They will work normal jobs, they want to study further and they want to expand their education. The boys have got a lot of plans and inshallah [God-willing] it will go unhindered,” he said.