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Krugersdorp - The failing health of a mother was cited in the bail hearing of a man accused of murdering a Muslim man, in the Krugersdorp Regional Court on Thursday.
Prosecutor Leshia Surendra was questioning lawyer Hendrick Nortjie, who acts for murder accused Roedolf Viviers.
Nortjie, who is blind, said Viviers' mother was fragile and her medical condition was deteriorating because of the court case.
The elderly woman was being cared for by her niece in Durban.
“She needs oxygen and medication every day,” he said.
He claimed to have communicated weekly with Viviers' family and his mother, who live in Durban.
Nortjie told the court that the family was having financial difficulties.
He was asked why he had not provided an affidavit about the family's financial condition and the elderly woman's medical condition.
Surendra said if Viviers, 28, was released, his family would also have him to take care, and that this would only add to its financial burden.
Nortjie argued that there was a job waiting for Viviers should he be released.
Magistrate Reginald Dama commented on Nortjie's statement: “He is very lucky.... He has a job waiting for him while others are struggling for employment.”
Nortjie could not confirm what salary or job title Viviers would hold.
He said Viviers was not a flight risk. “He is a responsible person who has co-operated thus far.... He doesn't have anywhere else to go. He doesn't even have a passport.”
Proceedings were temporarily adjourned so a written affidavit, entered as new evidence by the prosecution, could be read to Nortjie by a police officer.
Viviers and another man, Zayne van Tonder, 33, allegedly made racist remarks to Muhammad Fayaaz Kazi and his friend Anser Mahmood about their beards, at a Chicken Licken outlet in Magaliesburg on August 6, 2012.
An argument and a fight ensued. Kazi was severely beaten and died in hospital.
Charges against Van Tonder were later dropped and he was released.
On Thursday, scores of Muslim men and women packed the courtroom.
Among them was Kazi's widow Sajidah. - Sapa