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Alleged ‘bomb’ accused released on R100k bail

A suspect in the Verulam Mosque bomb case has been released on R100 thousand bail.
A suspect in the Verulam Mosque bomb case has been released on R100 thousand bail.
Image: 123RF/ Alexei Novikov

One of the men with alleged links to a spate of terror bombings and a fatal attack on a Verulam mosque in May - 37-year-old Goolam Haffejee - has been released on R100‚000 bail.

Seven others‚ Nashir Sayid‚ Hakim Hatunguman‚ Tariq Karrim‚ Alrich Brown‚ Alimasi Abele‚ Alibar Umar and Naadir Khan were released after the state provisionally withdrew charges against them on Monday.

The court heard that the seven and Haffajee could not be identified by witnesses in a formal identification parade held last week.

As such‚ when Haffejee made his bid for freedom‚ the state did not oppose his release while awaiting trial.

During their appearance‚ heavily armed police officers roamed the halls and occupied the public gallery.

Outside court‚ a small group of protesters gathered holding placards emblazoned with slogans opposing the release of the men.

The alleged conspirators face charges of murder‚ arson and now additional counts under the banner of the Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorist and Related Activities Act (POCDATARA).

This after 19 men gang were arrested in a series of raids conducted by members of the Hawks’ Crimes Against the State Unit last week.

The alleged bomb makers and their masters have appeared before behind closed doors‚ with the public and media barred from attending proceedings.

This ban was lifted on Monday during their second appearance.

Several incendiary devices - rudimentary in nature - were planted at Woolworths stores and food markets. Some were triggered and caused minor fires. A number of stores were temporarily closed following anonymous bomb threats.

The suspects are alleged to have links to an attack on the Imam Hussain Mosque in Verulam in which a man was killed and two others were badly wounded in May. Haffeejee will return to court on November 29 while the rest of the accused will return to court for their bail application on Monday.

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