Pretoria – Three of the five men accused of assaulting a couple at a KFC in Pretoria applied for bail in the Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
They claimed the couple, a husband and wife, were the aggressors.
Stephan Nel, 39, Marius Harding, 23, DJ van Rooyen, 21, Ockert Muller, 20, and Joshua Scholtz, 21, are facing charges of attempted murder, assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm, and pointing a firearm. They allegedly attacked a black couple at a KFC drive-through in Montana last week.
On Thursday, the court heard that Harding abandoned his bid for bail. He had an outstanding warrant of arrest for theft. Muller was granted bail earlier this week. Nel, Scholtz, and Van Rooyen applied for bail.
JC Erasmus, for Van Rooyen, read an affidavit into record in which he claimed the couple attacked him.
Van Rooyen said he had ordered his food and was told it would take some time. While waiting, the husband got out of his car and confronted him.
The couple was parked behind him and the other accused were in a car behind them. The accused state they did not know each other and did not act as one group.
Erasmus said a security guard told the husband to get back into his car. The man’s wife told him to do the same.
After the first assault, which Van Rooyen said he was not part of, both the husband and wife began punching Muller.
"At that point I intervened and hit him (the husband) with clenched fists," Van Rooyen said.
Erasmus said the evidence would show the accused were not racist and that the couple were the aggressors. He said Van Rooyen was arrested after he drove to the Sinoville police station to open a case against the couple.
No violent behaviour
Schultz said he had no history of violent behaviour.
"I respectfully aver that I do not have a disposition to violence or that there is any past evidence of such a disposition to violence. As my evidence will show at trial, I was not the aggressor in the situation," his lawyer Francois Kriel read from his affidavit.
JJ Bornman, for Nel, said his client had many medical conditions and he had a mild heart attack when he was 30.
"Stressful situations, in particular my incarceration, are life threatening to me," Bornman read from Nel’s affidavit.
Van Rooyen and Scholtz said they were not linked to other cases of assault, as Police Minister Fikile Mbalula had alleged on Twitter.
The State opposed bail, due to public outrage and the perception that the assault was racially motivated. Prosecutor Ronnie Sibanda said witnesses, who worked at the KFC, were scared.
Magistrate Motlhoki Rapulana postponed the bail application to August 18.