Umm Muhammed Umar
Around midday on Thursday, there was a message being broadcast on social media, that Faizel Charloos and his wife had been released on Wednesday, by the court in Lenasia, Johannesburg. Charloos and his wife had been arrested in the early hours of last Friday, after having been investigated by police for a kidnapping that took place last week. The victim was a South African citizen. To verify the social media message, and to give us an update on what really transpired at the courts, Radio Islam spoke to Shaheen Ismail of Lethal Forces.
Ismail said that the social media message was false. He said, “I have been fully involved in this case. What happened is that they were trying to play us by saying the case will be heard in Soweto. I then left this morning early to Soweto, and they were not there.” He added that one of the Lethal Forces members who was, incidentally, at the Lenasia court, had alerted him to the fact that the appearance was at the Lenasia court. Charloos was appearing on Friday, March 25, in Benoni, and was thus remanded at a Benoni cell. His wife, and the other four accused, have been remanded at Johannesburg Prison, better known as Sun City. They are to appear on Monday morning at Court 10, in Protea Glen, Soweto.
Ismail said that there was no community participation at the court. He pleaded, “come show that you are interested in this case, that you are tired of crime, because today it is this person, tomorrow it could be you, or somebody else.” He added, “if you’re not showing any interest in the matter – which means it’s just another number – that judge or prosecutor does not live in Lenasia, and it does not affect them, what affects us, at the present moment in Lenasia.” Ismail stressed that Charloos could have received bail today if no one was present at court to participate, which was would have happened if he had not received the call informing him to abandon the Soweto court and return to Lenasia.
Asked if the confusion regarding Soweto was an indication that there were members of the justice system in cahoots with Charloos, Ismail said that perhaps not currently, but possibly in the past. He said the magistrate said she could not hear the case, as the Charloos couple had made so many appearances, that she did not want to appear biased.
On Monday, all those remanded are to apply for bail in an alleged kidnapping and money laundering case, at Protea Court, in Soweto. Ismail pleaded, “we are saying to the people, guys join me, let us oppose this bail, because it’s a very serious crime.” He said, “We cannot blame the justice system if we sit back on the couch, complaining.” He added, “We say to the people, come on, take your Lenasia back, join the crime fighters. Come with us and show the court that you are tired of that. And by pursuing this course, and supporting the gesture that he (Charloos) mustn’t be given bail, that actually carries weight.”
According to Ismail, the judge considers the presence of people from the public showing interest. He said, “if the community comes up there and says no bail, there is community outcry, and the community is tired of crime, and the community is directly affected, no bail does get given to these people.”
Ultimately, Ismail has called on the public to appear in numbers. The opportunity has presented itself to all to take some time out to actively participate in the health and safety of one’s community, and not simply be an armchair critic.