Beard fight 'not about race'

2012-11-29 13:40
Zayne van Tonder (Werner Beukes)

Zayne van Tonder (Werner Beukes)

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Johannesburg - Charges against a man accused of assaulting a Muslim man over his beard were withdrawn in the Krugersdorp Regional Court on Thursday.

"I am relieved," 33-year-old Zayne van Tonder told reporters as he left court.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindile Louw said the case against Van Tonder was withdrawn because of "lack of evidence linking him to the incident".

Van Tonder, was initially charged with assault and was granted bail of R2 000 in August.

Racist remarks

However, the case against his co-accused Roedolf Viviers, 28, who allegedly beat Muhammad Fayaaz Kazi to death, was transferred to the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg and would be heard on January 28.

Magistrate Stanley Mkhari told Viviers that the case would run until February 8.

"I have been instructed to inform you that you will appear on a charge of attempted murder and a charge of murder. You remain in custody," he told Viviers.

Viviers and Van Tonder allegedly made racist remarks to Kazi and his friend Anser Mahmood at a fast-food outlet in Magaliesburg on August 6.

A fight ensued and Kazi was severely beaten and died in hospital.

Viviers was pointed out by seven witnesses in an identity parade.

Van Tonder said he was happy for himself but disappointed that Viviers was not granted bail.

"I'm unhappy that Roedolf [Viviers] wasn't granted bail, but hopefully the truth will be heard," he told reporters.

"This is just a fight that went wrong. It wasn't religious or racist."

‘We want to see justice done’

Outside the court, Kazi's father-in-law Hasimbhay Motara said the family was pleased with the decision to move the matter to the high court.

He said as a family they placed their trust in the State.

"Although we are of the opinion that an accomplice might be getting out of the whole process, the State would know exactly how to deal with the matter," he said.

"We just want to see justice be done."

Kazi's family, including his younger brother, were present in court.

- SAPA

Read more on:    muhammad fayaaz kazi  |  roedolf viviers  |  johannesburg  |  racism
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