No racism charges for KFC assaulters, court hears

2017-08-18 20:33
Stefan Nel, Dicky Junior van Rooyen, Marius Harding, Ockert Muller and Joshua Liam Scholtz in the Pretoria North Court. (Deaan Vivier, Gallo Images, Beeld)

Stefan Nel, Dicky Junior van Rooyen, Marius Harding, Ockert Muller and Joshua Liam Scholtz in the Pretoria North Court. (Deaan Vivier, Gallo Images, Beeld)

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Pretoria - Was the alleged assault by five white men on a black couple at a KFC in Pretoria racially motivated?

That's what the Pretoria North magistrate's court will have to determine after it emerged that no allegations related to racism and crimen injuria were listed on the charge sheet.

The five men allegedly attacked a black couple at a KFC drive-through in Montana on August 2. The accused are facing charges of attempted murder, intent to cause grievous bodily harm and pointing of a firearm.

Three of the five accused, Stephan Nel, 39, Joshua Schultz, 21, and DJ van Rooyen, 21, were in court on Friday for their bail application, which the State is opposing.

Read more: 3 of 5 KFC assault accused apply for bail 

Ockert Muller, 20, has already been released on bail while Marius Harding, 23, has abandoned his bid for bail.

News24 has previously revealed that Harding was arrested in 2014 on charges of assault and crimen injuria for allegedly assaulting three petrol pump attendants, using racial slurs at a garage in Petrus Steyn Free State.

Racism and crimen injuria

Under cross examination by advocate JC Erasmus for Nel on Friday, Warrant Officer Ravi Naidoo, a group commander at Sinoville detective unit, said it was his personal opinion that the attacks were racially motivated. This was not, however, on the charge sheet, he said. He further conceded that no allegations relating to racism and crimen injuria were listed on the charge sheet.

Naidoo's affidavit was read into the record last week. In it, he stated that in terms of assault and attempted murder, incidents on racial grounds were prevalent in the Sinoville area.

He also conceded under cross examination that his definition of racial grounds was that the incidents were either white on black or black on white.

Different races

Naidoo said cases of assault and attempted murder, which involved different races, were taken more seriously than those involving the same race.

He said they were opposing bail due to the seriousness of the charges and because the complainants and witnesses feared for their safety 

"The complainant states that he fears for the safety of his wife, his minor children and himself if the accused are granted bail," Naidoo said. 

Read: Mbalula lauds police in swift arrest of KFC attackers

The investigating officer on the case, Constable William Tladi, gave further insight into the state's version, saying one of the complainants was insulted based on her race.

"They called her a bitch, they also insulted her on her skin colour," he said.

Tladi said they had called her a "swart gat" (black arse). 

He said Nel pointed a firearm at one of the complainants while the other four accused assaulted her.

It's then alleged that Nel joined in on the assault and hit one of the complainants with the firearm. 

Attorney Nols Nolte, who also represented Nel, questioned why charges of crimen injuria weren't added and why these remarks weren't in Tladi's initial affidavit that was also read into the record last week. 

BB gun

Tladi said he was reading from the complainant's statement and not his own, and that he did not know why charges of crimen injuria weren't added. 

It also emerged that there was only one firearm, which allegedly belonged to Nel, and which according to the state's version was used in the incident.

Nolte asked both Naidoo and Tladi if the firearm used could have been a BB gun (toy gun). Both conceded that they didn't know what gun it was, and that it could have been. The gun has been taken in for forensic testing. 

The bail application is expected to continue on August 23.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  crime

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