China denies entry to man accused of being Durban bombing mastermind

Farhad Hoomer, out on R200,000 bail, is alleged to have been the mastermind behind a Verulam mosque attack in May 2018, and firebomb attacks at retail outlets in the months that followed.
Farhad Hoomer, out on R200,000 bail, is alleged to have been the mastermind behind a Verulam mosque attack in May 2018, and firebomb attacks at retail outlets in the months that followed.
Image: Jackie Clausen

A Durban businessman accused of terrorist-related activities and having links to the Islamic State, has been denied entry into China.

However Farhad Hoomer - accused of orchestrating an attack at the Imam Hussain Mosque in May last year which resulted in the death of Verulam mechanic Abbas Essop, as well as firebomb attacks at retail outlets -  will be allowed to travel to Vietnam  to "purchase shoes". 

Hoomer appeared in the Verulam Family Court on Wednesday where defence advocate Jimmy Howse told the court that China had refused to grant his client a visa to conduct business.

Howse speculated that Chinese authorities may have not been provided with an updated version of Hoomer's bail conditions. 

Last month magistrate Irfan Khalil granted Hoomer's application to have his bail conditions relaxed to allow him to travel to China.

On Wednesday Khalil requested  Howse to investigate why Hoomer had been denied entry into China.

Khalil said he would sign off an updated version of Hoomer's bail conditions to submit to  Chinese authorities.

Senior state prosecutors Torie Pretorius and Mahen Naidu said they had no problem with Hoomer travelling to Vietnam on the basis that strict bail conditions were applied including that:

  • His stay does not exceed seven days, 
  • He provides the investigating officer with a full itinerary and his travel details, including where he will be staying, and his departure and return dates, and  
  • He informs the state seven days in advance of his trip.

Khalil granted Hoomer permission to travel to Vietnam but stated that should he be in breach of any of the conditions he could face re-arrest.

The matter was postponed to October 31.

Hoomer, together with 11 others, were arrested during a co-ordinated Hawks raid on October 5  last year and face various other charges‚ including murder‚ attempted murder‚ arson and extortion. 

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