The two young men charged in connection with a pub brawl in Hilton early this year are free for now.
The assault case against Marcus William Daniel Reeves (23) and Chad Derrick Potgieter (20) was on Thursday struck off the Pietermaritzburg district court roll because the state was not ready to proceed.
It had been set down for trial.
The men’s advocate, Gideon Scheltema, SC, brought an application for this to happen and opposed the state’s application for the case to be adjourned.
Reeves and Potgieter’s attorney Anusha Ganas said they are relieved that the matter is over for now and that the men can get their lives back in order.
They are alleged to have assaulted Luke Adam and Taime Michael Louwrens at the Pot and Barrel pub on February 9. Adam’s nose was broken and he had to have 30 stitches. Adam’s father Paul said that his attorney, Petrus Coetzee, who has a watching brief in the case, will take the matter further with the appropriate authorities.
The prosecutor conceded the state had been responsible for delays in the case. Magistrate Vincent Mcanyana said that as a result Reeves and Potgieter had already suffered a great prejudice and another postponement would not be in accordance with justice. He added the case would only be reinstated with the authorisation of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Earlier, Scheltema had said he could not start the trial proceedings because there were outstanding matters, such as Adam’s medical report and a colour photo album, which were requested in May.
Another concern was a second charge added by the state only in August and without the defence having been informed beforehand. Scheltema said by August the state was aware of the type of prejudice the men were exposed to, yet it still did not make certain things available.
He also said that the original charge sheet went missing without explanation.