After spending several weeks behind bars, as awaiting trial accused, the 11 men accused of killing a man at a mosque in Verulam and planting explosive devices at mainly Woolworth stores in Durban, were granted bail last week.

The state alleged at the protracted bail applications, that the men had links with the terror group, Isis – a claim which the accused had rejected as untrue. The accused; the alleged ringleader, Farhad Hoomer, Ahmed Haffejee, Mohamad Akbar, Iddy Omari, Mahammed Sobruin, Abubakar Ali, Ndikumana Shabani and Abbas Jooma were granted bail ranging from R200 000 to R500, while Seiph Mohamed, ThabitMwenda and Amani Mayani were released on warning.

The state has linked them to the alleged Ramadan eve murder of mechanic, Abbas Khan.

Khan’s throat was slit when he rushed to the Hussain Shia Mosque in Verulam after hearing the screams of worshippers. The men are also facing
a kidnapping charge concerning a Tanzanian national who has since being placed in a witness protection programme. In granting them bail, magistrate Irfaan Khalil said the state’s case was not watertight. “The probative value of the (identity) parade considered in isolation or in totality is greatly diminished. The state’s evidence is not strong and insufficient to persuade the court that the accused should remain in custody,” said Khalil.

Part of their bail conditions is that they must inform the investigating officerif they want to leave KwaZulu-Natal. They were ordered by the court to report to the Durban Central police station once a week and to hand over
their passports to the investigating officer. Their next appearance is on 22 February.