Terror suspect did not disappear from work, says Thulsie family

Brandon-Lee Thulsie is employed by Discovery and was absent from work for about two weeks.

Brandon-Lee & Tony-Lee Thulsie. Picture: Facebook.com.

JOHANNESBURG - The family of the Johannesburg twins arrested on terrorism charges, say the one brother did not disappear from work prior to being detained, insisting he had taken leave for a spiritual retreat.

It has emerged that Brandon-Lee Thulsie works at Discovery and was absent from work for about two weeks prior to his arrest.

Thulsie and his brother Tony-Lee appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrates Court on Monday, accused of plotting attacks against American and Jewish interests as well as attempting to travel to Syria to join Islamic State.

This week, Discovery confirmed that Thulsie is one of their employees and had been absent from work for 12 days prior to his arrest.

Advocacy organisation, Cage Africa, is now speaking on behalf of the Thulsie family. Spokesperson Karen Jayes says he did not disappear, he had applied for leave.

"He booked off time to work to go into spiritual retreat which happens in the last 10 days of Ramadan, so this is where he was at the time and he had taken legitimate leave from work."

The family also insists that the twins did not want to join Islamic State they wanted to immigrate to Syria in order to live in an Islamic State.

They remain in police custody in Johannesburg until next week when they will be back in court.