South African Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is still applying her mind on how to deal with the issue of two South Africans accused of having links to terror group al-Qaeda, her spokesman said on Tuesday evening.
Meanwhile, their lawyer has asked the foreign affairs department to clarify reports of plans to name them on the United Nations' list of suspected terrorists.
Junaid Dockrat, a dentist from Mayfair, Johannesburg, and his cousin, Farhad Ahmed Dockrat, have been named by the United States government as terror suspects with links to Osama bin Laden's al- Qaeda and the deposed Taliban in Afghanistan.
"They are not on the list at the moment... the request to include them (by the U.S. government to the UN Security Council) was only made on Jan. 18," said their lawyer Shaheed Dollie.
In an urgent letter to the Department of Foreign Affairs, Dollie said his clients were "confident that there is no factual basis whatsoever which would justify their being listed on the so- called 'United Nations list of persons associated with al-Qaeda.'"
However, as far as foreign affairs department is concerned, no official correspondence has been forthcoming.
"The office of the minister has not received any official communique from the lawyers of the two South Africans listed by the UN Security Council for alleged links to al-Qaeda," Foreign Affairs spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa said on Tuesday.
According to procedures outlined in the letter, a U.S. committee, consisting of members of the Security Council, would decide by consensus of its members based on a statement of case.
A statement of case would provide the basis for a proposed listing and would include findings and evidence of the men's alleged al-Qaeda associations and activities as well as any supporting evidence and documents, which could be supplied.
"Our clients cannot reasonably and fairly make any representations in any meaningful manner in the absence of the statement of case," said Dollie.
Under UN guidelines, they face the freezing of their assets and bank accounts, and prohibitions on worldwide trade and travel.
Dollie added that media hype and negative publicity surrounding the two men had affected their personal lives, traumatized their children and negatively impacted on their businesses.
Meanwhile, Dollie confirmed reports that both Junaid, Farhad and their businesses had been under surveillance.
According to Mia Swart, a legal expert, South Africa, as a member of the UN, will have no choice but to act against the pair.
South Africa had to comply with the UN's guidelines, said the University of the Witwatersrand law school senior lecturer.