Durban bomb investigation to go beyond SA's borders

The Hawks outside the Mosque in Verulam that was the scene of a brutal attack that occurred on May 10 2018.
The Hawks outside the Mosque in Verulam that was the scene of a brutal attack that occurred on May 10 2018.
Image: Jackie Clausen

The criminal pursuit of twelve alleged Isis loyalists with ties to the fatal Shia Verulam mosque attack and a wave of bombings across Durban is set to extend beyond the borders of SA.

Farhad Hoomer‚ along with Ahmed Haffejee‚ Thabit Mwenda‚ Mohamad Akbar‚ Seiph Mohamed‚ Amani Mayani‚ Abubakar Ali‚ Abbas Jooma‚ Mahammed Sobruin‚ Ndikumana Shabani and Iddy Omani have been remanded in custody for over a month and have all applied for bail.

On Wednesday‚ in the latest iteration of a protracted bail hearing for the group in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court‚ specialist state prosecutor Adele Barnard said that the investigation had gone beyond SA’s shores.

The state had‚ she said‚ recovered evidence that Ahmed Haffejee had made Facebook posts which carried a strong anti-Shia sentiment.

In one‚ he allegedly advocated slitting the throats of anyone who was a Shia.

“The state has made certain preservation orders of the Facebook account of Accused 2 [Haffejee] and that can only be done in the US‚” she told Magistrate Irfaan Khalil.

“There will [also] be requests made to the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as Tanzania with regard to financial investigations that we are pursuing there‚” Barnard added.

The firebrand advocate had been addressing the court on the strength of her case‚ following staunch criticism by the defence counsel.

But she said that it would likely take months for her team to analyse seized exhibits.

“We have 46 digital devices that would need to be analysed. The state has requested additional resources to address that. We will take measures to expedite this process from our side. For the state to properly investigate the matter — which is our duty — we will need time‚” she said.

Charges against seven of men have already been withdrawn and one of the twelve‚ Goolam Haffejee‚ was released on R100‚000 bail two weeks ago.

Khalil is expected to make a ruling on bail on November 27.

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