Magistrate questions Muslim 'outcry'

2012-08-21 20:14
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Johannesburg - A Krugersdorp magistrate on Tuesday questioned whether the community of a Muslim man beaten to death was aggrieved by the attack.

Reginald Dama asked the investigating officer whether he perceived there was an outcry over the crime.

"I was getting that they were angry," Warrant Officer Hendrick Janse van Rensburg said in the Krugersdorp Regional Court, saying he had spoken to witnesses and members of the community.

He was testifying during the bail applications of Roedolf Viviers, 28, who is accused of murder and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and Zayne van Tonder, accused of assault.

The two men allegedly made racist remarks to Muhammad Fayaaz Kazi and Anser Mahmood, then beat them up outside a fast food outlet in Magaliesburg on Monday 6 August. Kazi died in hospital.

Prosecutor Micky Thesner asked Van Rensburg if they were angry because they believed the assault was racially motivated.

"Ja, you can say that [sic]," he replied.

Embodiment of evil

One man, a Mr Jassad, testified that calling a Muslim Osama bin Laden, as was being alleged, was derogatory.

This was because international events presented bin Laden as the "embodiment of evil".

The State opposed Viviers' bail as he was accused of a schedule five offence which, according to the Criminal Procedure Act, requires him to prove exceptional circumstances exist to get bail.

Attorney for the accused, S Smith, read out an affidavit by Viviers detailing why he believed he should be granted bail. Viviers said he looked after his ill and elderly mother. He was the sole breadwinner of his family and provided for his fiancée and her young child.

Viviers signalled his intention to plead not guilty to all charges. There was no risk that he would skip bail, Smith said.

The court was packed with photographers and reporters, as well as family and community members.

Dama warned journalists they would be expelled from proceedings if there was a disruption.

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