Hercules van Staden was acquitted on all charges of murder and assault in Germiston Regional Court on Monday last week, Bedfordview Edenvale News reports.
In 2012, Van Staden was arrested in connection with the death of Greenstone resident Danjay Singh at the Stones nightclub in Edenvale. At the time, Van Staden was employed as a bouncer at the club.
Singh was assaulted at the club on July 28, 2012. He died in hospital of his injuries on August 2, 2012.
Regional Court presiding officer Magistrate Saulse said the state relied on video footage that was provisionally entered into evidence in May last year. She said the video footage alone was not enough to build the state’s case against the accused.
Saulse pointed out the footage lacked corroborating eyewitnesses and therefore cast doubt on its accuracy.
“The court relies on witnesses to corroborate evidence such as video footage because the court was not present at the time of the incident,” she said. “Through evidence given in this court, a clear picture of what happened on the night has to be painted.”
“If there is any doubt in evidence given, such as video footage, it is up to corroborating eyewitnesses to put the court at ease and to dispel such doubts,” she added.
She also said that in addition to the footage, the first state witness, Bruce Parmasser, did not know who assaulted Singh on the night.
“The witness did not see how the deceased fell – he only saw him falling,” said Saulse.
She added the state witness “chose to be selective with his testimony”.
“With the one question, the witness could not recall details, but the next question he could recall everything,” she said.
Parmasser died of a heart attack on May 12, 2013.
“I also believe there were contradictions in the statements of the three state witnesses. Therefore the evidence by the state is lacking,” said Saulse.
– Caxton News Service