The men accused of viciously attacking a black couple should not be granted bail, for the safety of the black couple they assaulted in a racially charged incident at a KFC drive-through, a commander of police detectives at the Sinoville Police Station in Pretoria told the Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court on Friday.
Warrant Officer Ravi Vengetsamy Naidoo told the court that incidents of racially motivated attacks were prevalent in his area of policing, and “it is usually whites on blacks or blacks on whites”.
“This is a schedule five offence, and there has been a public outcry over the incident. The video of the incident has been circulating on social media. A lot of people have expressed anger and disappointment over the incident,” Naidoo testified during the bail application of three of the accused men.
He pointed out that even on Friday, “members of a political party” were protesting outside the court against granting bail to the accused men. Members of the ANC Women’s League were picketing at the court, while others were in the packed courtroom.
Naidoo said the man who was attacked, the complainant in the case, is also vehemently opposed to releasing the alleged assailants on bail.
“The complainant has indicated to me that he is scared and still in a state of shock regarding what transpired. He has also stated that he fears for the safety of his wife and minor kids if the accused are granted bail. The complainant lives in the Sinoville area and if they are released, he will encounter them. He fears that he will be further threatened and intimidated,” said Naidoo.
Stephan Nel, 39, Joshua Scholtz, 21, and Dicky Junior van Rooyen, 21, are facing charges of attempted murder, assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm, and pointing a firearm. Their co-accused – Marius Harding, 23 – previously abandoned his bail application and Ockert Muller, 20, has already been granted bail. All five were in court on Friday.
Naidoo also argued on Friday that staff of the KFC branch, where the violent attack took place on August 2, are also scared that the accused men will come and “interfere” with them if released on bail.