- The men accused of the murder of Elvis Nyathi in Diepsloot have been granted bail.
- The magistrate said the State could not provide substantial evidence on the role the accused had played in the crime.
- The seven will return to court on 7 July.
The seven men accused of murdering Zimbabwean Elvis Nyathi have been granted bail.
Cedric Raseala, 42, Baron Mashele, 31, Godfrey Mahlo, 31, Thomas Serebane, 53, Phumuduza Tshirangwana, 38, Thabo Makgatho, 32, and Puleng Chipape, 34, appeared in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on Friday
Magistrate Hleziphi Mkhasibe said the State had not been able to provide substantial evidence to validate the role each accused played in the alleged murder of Nyathi.
"I show great concern in the State's failure to provide substantial evidence that proves the role each accused played in the alleged killing of the victim," said Mkhasibe.
Mkhasibe also said that some State witnesses could not identify the suspects who allegedly committed the crime.
"The investigating officer stated in the affidavit that the State witnesses were still traumatised, scared and shaken, which would justify the State witness inability to identify the accused," she said.
Mkhasibe further noted that, although some of the accused stated in their testimony that they were assaulted by the police, such evidence would only be challenged during the trial, and that her decision on bail application would not solely be based on this piece of evidence.
She granted the seven bail of R3 000 each.
Mkhasibe concluded that the release of the accused would not jeopardise the case, nor were they a danger to the public or individual's safety.
The National Prosecuting Authority's Phindi Mjonondwane told journalists outside court:
Mjonomdwane mentioned that the court was confident that the accused were suitable candidates to be released on bail of R3 000 to secure their attendance in court.
She further mentioned that the State would take the necessary measures to ensure the safety of the witnesses.
On 7 April, Nyathi was set alight by a group of attackers.
He died on the spot in Diepsloot, Johannesburg.
Nyathi's uncle addressed the media outside the court and expressed disappointment over the turn of events.
"As a family of the deceased, we are very disappointed. We were hoping that the judge would look at what these guys did," said Mpthathisi Ndlovu.
"We are hoping that maybe they will get a sentencing later on."
The Diesploot seven face charges of murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, and extortion.
Two out of the seven have previous convictions, while the rest have clean records..
None of the accused have pending cases.
All of the accused are South African, however, they do not have passports or records showing they have travelled outside the country.
They will return to court on 7 July.
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