Lowering their heads and shielding their faces against the flashing cameras, the 12 men accused for the fatal bombing at the Imam Hussain Mosque in Ottawa and placing a series of incendiary devices in and around Durban last year, face additional terrorism-related charges as they were pictured for the first time since their arrest, at the Verulam Magistrate’s Court on Friday.
Alleged ring leader of the gang, Durban businessman, Farhad Hoomer, together with Ahmed Haffejee‚ Mahammed Sobruin, Goolam Haffejee‚ Abbas Jooma, Thabit Mwenda‚ Abubakar Ali, Mohamad Akbar‚ Amani Mayani, Seiph Mohamed‚ Iddy Omari and Ndikumana Shabani, stood in the dock facing charges of murder, attempted murder, arson and extortion with additional charges relating to the Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorist and Related Activities Act added to the list. Hoomer and gang have been implicated in the fatal Verulam bomb attack at the Imam Hussein Mosque in Ottawa on 10 May and the series of explosive devices placed at the Woolworths stores in Durban as well as other business premises.
The suspects were arrested in and around Durban in October, last year, by an integrated team involving the Hawks (Crimes Against the State), Crime Intelligence and the Forensic Unit, the National Prosecuting Authority including other departments from the justice cluster. During the arrest, various items were confiscated including a ready-made incendiary device. Members also managed to rescue a victim who was found chained and malnourished inside a dungeon in one of the houses.
Pictured above is the gang of suspects hiding and shielding their faces against the flashing cameras as they appeared in the dock on Friday.
The gang of suspects, with alleged links to the ISIS terror group, will re-appear in court on 15 April. According to reports, prosecutor Advocate Adele Barnard informed the court that the state was planning on lodging an application to have the case remanded for six months for further investigation which was met with disapproval by Hoomer’s defense attorney, Advocate Jimmy Howse, who said that the application will be opposed.
The accused who are out on bail are conditioned to report to the Durban Central police station every Wednesday, between 6am and 6pm. They were instructed to hand over their travel documents, and are not permitted to interfere with witnesses or leave the province without proper permission. Outside court, the mother of slain Imam Hussain Mosque murder victim, Shaheed Abbas Essop, cut a desolate figure, as she stood wearing a T-shirt bearing her son’s picture calling for justice for his murder, whilst hoisting pictures of the gruesome scene at the mosque on the afternoon her son was killed. Abbas had his throat slit when he rushed to intervene at the mosque whilst worshippers and the Imam were under attack.