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Beard murder accused’s bail bid heard

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Roedolf Viviers

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Rudolph Viviers allegedly mocked, then killed Mohammed Fazaaz Kazi. Photo: Bongiwe Mchunu

Krugersdorp - Roedolf Viviers, accused of murder and attempted murder, needs to be granted bail to allow him to prepare for trial, the Krugersdorp Regional Court heard on Friday.

Advocate Jack Gerber examined Viviers' other legal representative Hendrick Nortjie, about why a second bail application was being sought.

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 later died in hospital.

Nortjie said he had only received the case docket, of 230 pages, on December 14 after numerous requests for it, which he made to the director of public prosecutions.

The trial was meant to start on January 28 after the holiday period.

“I am concerned I won't have enough time to prepare for a big trial like this.”

On September 17, he had tried to consult with his client, but prison officials did not allow him to see Viviers, Nortjie said.

Subsequently, he had been allowed hour-long sessions, but due to formalities it took at least 20 minutes to enter the jail before he could begin the consultations.

These consultations were also hampered by the noisy prison environment, he said.

He had had “sleepless nights” over whether he would be able to get through the necessary material under these circumstances.

Nortjie told the court that Viviers' employer before his arrest was willing to offer him work if he was released.

Viviers' mother was seriously ill with lung disease and was being cared for by her niece, whom Nortjie described as “salt of the earth”.

The niece and her husband, however, could not care for Mrs Viviers indefinitely due to financial constraints.

Viviers mother was “also suffering because of the stress going with this case”, Nortjie said.

There had been no public outcry when charges against Van Tonder were dropped due to lack of evidence in November.

There were also concerns about Mahmood's affidavit, which Nortjie described as “interesting reading”.

This was because Mahmood said he had picked up a brick and called the two men, who he described as the aggressors, to follow him into the street outside the fast-food outlet.

Mahmood also initially referred to two men, but later said he and Kazi were confronted by a group.

Prosecutor Leisha Surendra at this point asked for an adjournment so that Kazi's family, who are of the Islamic faith, could go for their Friday prayers.

Gerber said that while he respected their religion, it was not necessary for them to be present during cross-examination.

“(Viviers') rights should also be respected... His rights should be weighed up against those of the family,” he said.

Magistrate Reginald Dama adjourned the matter until 1.30pm.

The trial was expected to begin in the High Court in Johannesburg in March. - Sapa


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