Thulsie twins convicted and sentenced following plea deal with State

In the deal, the brothers pleaded guilty to some of the terror-related charges against them and were handed eight years and eleven years imprisonment respectively, minus the time they have spent in custody.

FILE: Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee Thulsie. Picture: Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - After nearly six years awaiting trail behind bars, the Thulsie twins have been convicted and sentenced in the High Court in Johannesburg after entering into a plea agreement with the State.

In the deal, the brothers pleaded guilty to some of the terror-related charges against them and were handed eight years and eleven years imprisonment respectively, minus the time they had spent in custody.

The trial was set to begin on Monday following years of delays and a failed bail attempt.

The pair faced charges relating to the contravention of the Protection of the Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorism and Related Activities.

When handing down his judgment, Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng said that he had considered that the Thulsie twins were relatively young, their guilty plea showed a measure of remorse or contrition and that at the time of their arrest, they were at the preparatory stage of the offences they had been found guilty of.

Both Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee Thulsie pleaded guilty to attempting to leave South Africa to join the Islamic State in Syria.

Accused one, Brandon-Lee pleaded guilty to being in possession of terror-related material; while accused two, Tony-Lee pleaded guilty to conspiring to carry out terror attacks on foreign embassies and local Jewish interests in South Africa.

The brothers have been in custody since their arrest in 2016 and in terms of their plea deal, Tony-Lee will effectively serve about five years in prison and Brandon-Lee about two.

This brings to finality a case which had been marred by delays and criticism.