South Africa: Dismissal of Islamic State Case Sparks Controversy

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analysis

Alleged 'terrorists' accused of murder at a Verulam mosque go free.

Was it a travesty of justice or the correction of a miscarriage of the law when on Monday 13 July the Verulam Magistrate's Court threw out the case against 12 men accused of perpetrating terrorist activities in the name of Islamic State?

The case has provoked heated debate, with accusations of Islamophobia and alarmism running one way and counter-charges of appeasement and denialism running the other way.

The debate only intensified on Monday when magistrate Irfaan Khalil struck it off the roll, citing undue delays by the State. But the State said it would be back.

The 12 accused had been held for more than 20 months on a raft of charges arising from the placing of incendiary pipebombs in Woolworths stores, at the Durban July horse race and at a Verulam mosque, as well as murder, attempted murder, arson and extortion arising from an attack on that mosque, all in 2018.

They were also charged with furthering the aims of the global terrorist group Islamic State.

But Khalil dismissed the case on Monday, saying the accused had been prejudiced by a series of adjournments by...

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