Zapiro‚ King David High School named as ‘targets’ of the Thulsie twins

Jonathan ‘Zapiro’ Shapiro
Picture: Daniel Born

Cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro was allegedly one of the planned targets of terror-accused twin brothers Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee Thulsie.

This is one the 12 counts contained in a 13-page provisional indictment against the identical twins.

The Thulsies on Tuesday appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court‚ where their case was postponed to next month.

The 23-year-old brothers allegedly attempted to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State and allegedly made plans to attack US‚ UK‚ Russian and Jewish interests in South Africa.

In the indictment the state alleges that Shapiro‚ who is known under the pseudonym Zapiro‚ was one of these targets.

“The said terrorist activities would have been perpetrated using firearms‚ explosives and possibly poisons and would have been directed against: the High Commission of the United Kingdom 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 South Africa (Pretoria)‚ Mr J-B MP Prouhet [and] Jonathan Shapiro‚ a South African Jewish cartoonist.”

Seven other alleged targets were included in the list‚ including King David High School in Linksfield‚ Johannesburg‚ and Jewish investment manager Roy Topol.

The plans for the attacks were allegedly made by the brothers between August 2015 and July 2016. They were arrested on July 9‚ 2016 after their homes were searched by the police.

The state also alleges that Tony-Lee communicated with Abu Fidaa‚ an ISIS network‚ and others‚ whose identities are unknown to the state‚ about killing “Zapiro who drew the Messenger of Allah cartoon”.

The 12th count in the matter alleges that the brothers attempted to leave the country through the Ficksburg border post in the Free State‚ using fraudulent Lesotho passports in August 2015.

The case was postponed at the request of prosecutor Chris MacAdam‚ in order to finalise whether this count‚ which falls outside the jurisdiction of the High Court in Johannesburg‚ will be tried together with the other counts.

The Thulsies‚ who come from Newclare‚ west of Johannesburg‚ are due back in court on May 15 to finalise the transfer of the case to the high court.

Family members of the brothers expressed annoyance at the postponement after proceedings wrapped up.

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