Court hears conflicting views on severity of KFC assault injuries

2017-08-23 20:31
Stefan Nel, Dicky Junior van Rooyen, Marius Harding, Ockert Muller and Joshua Liam Scholtz stand in the Pretoria North Court, accused of assaulting a couple in KFC's drive through. (File, Deaan Vivier, Gallo Images, Beeld)

Stefan Nel, Dicky Junior van Rooyen, Marius Harding, Ockert Muller and Joshua Liam Scholtz stand in the Pretoria North Court, accused of assaulting a couple in KFC's drive through. (File, Deaan Vivier, Gallo Images, Beeld)

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Pretoria - There were conflicting views in the Pretoria North Magistrate's Court on the severity of injuries suffered by a black couple allegedly at the hands of five white men in Montana, Pretoria during an altercation at a KFC drive-through.

On Wednesday, the court heard that couple's injuries were "neither serious nor life threatening".

During the application by three of the five accused, Stephan Nel, 39, Joshua Schultz, 21, and DJ van Rooyen, 21, it was put to the investigating officer, Constable William Tladi, that the couple's injuries were not as serious as they had been made out to be.

Nel, Schultz and Van Rooyen, along with Ockert Muller, 20 and Marius Harding, have been charged with attempted murder, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and pointing of a firearm.

Muller has since been released on bail while Harding has abandoned his bail bid.

'Serious injuries'

During Tladi's cross examination, JC Erasmus, for Nel, asked him if he could describe the extent of complainants' injuries.

Tladi said he could not explain the exact extent of the injuries as he was not the author of the J88 (medical evidence statement) form and that he also struggled to read the hand writing.

He believed, however, that the injuries were serious.

"I saw the injuries were serious after the complainant explained them to me," said Tladi.

He added that Sono had injuries to his mouth, ear, and head and that he had been bleeding from the mouth and ear.

Tladi later conceded though that, when he first saw Sono, it was only his head that was swollen.

Advocate Francois Kriel for Schultz put it to Tladi that Sono was treated for a bump on his head, and a burst membrane in his ear which heals in a few days.

"The injuries were neither serious nor life threatening," said Kriel. Tladi said he could not dispute that.

Charge sheet 

During questioning by state prosecutor Ronnie Sibanda, Tladi said he was surprised that Kriel had asked questions about the extent of Sono and his wife.

While Sibanda did not dispute the extent of the injuries, he alleged that Kriel had access to confidential material.

Kriel said he had obtained evidence of the injuries from a hospital. Sibanda made the inference that this was tantamount to interference.

Tladi, who had previously testified under cross examination that there was no evidence that witnesses would be contacted, now said that Schulz would trouble his witnesses and investigation.

Last week, the court heard that no allegations relating to racism and crimen injuria were listed on the charge sheet.

Also read: No racism charges for KFC assaulters, court hears

During the cross examination of Warrant Officer Ravi Naidoo, a group commander at Sinoville detective unit, to whom Tladi reports, Naidoo conceded that there was no evidence that suggested the assault was racially motivated.

Tladi, however, testified that Sono's wife 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]".

Harding, who was not present in court, has been taken to KwaZulu-Natal to answer for a charge of theft, the court heard.

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.

Read more: KFC assault accused allegedly beat petrol attendants, called them the K-word

Harding’s father, Hermanus Nicholas Harding said there was no warrant pending in terms of the case in Petrus Steyn.

The bail application is expected to continue on August 25.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  crime

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