Dentist refutes al-Qaeda link

A South African dentist accused of having links to al-Qaeda and the Taliban has denied the allegations.

Junaid Ismail Dockrat, a dentist from Johannesburg, and his cousin Moulana Farhad Ahmed Dockrat, a Muslim cleric, were named on the United Nations Security Council’s list of terror suspects after US accusations they were ‘facilitators and terrorist financiers’ to al-Qaeda and the deposed Taliban in Afghanistan.

The South African government has been in contact with the US over the allegations, the South African Sunday Times reported. The US submitted a document claiming that the pair raised money for an al-Qaeda associated group in Pakistan.

Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said the government was awaiting directives from Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Diamini-Zuma on the issue.

Both men have threatened to take legal action to clear their names. Junaid Dockrat dismissed the allegations as being ‘patently false and devoid of any merit’. He added: ‘I am a law-abiding citizen and am prepared to contest these allegations in a court of law.

‘I have full confidence that our government will not yield to pressure to act in a manner that will deprive me of my constitutional rights and my right to be presumed innocent.’

The director of the Human Sciences Research Council, Professor Adam Habib, said: ‘Our government must ask for proof and interrogate it and then act appropriately.

‘Our Constitution demands that if you judge our citizens, you must provide the evidence to back it up . . . they are South African citizens and we want to know on what grounds the allegations are made.’

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