Muslim beard murder trial postponed
Johannesburg - The trial of a man accused of killing a Muslim man in Magaliesburg was postponed in the High Court in Johannesburg on Monday.
Roedolf Viviers, 28, would be back in court on March 4, giving him time to decide whether to continue using his lawyer Henti Nortjie, or make use of Legal Aid. He would remain in custody.
He and another man, Zayne van Tonder, 33, allegedly made racist remarks to Muhammad Fayaaz Kazi and his friend Anser Mahmood and referred to their beards, at a Chicken Licken outlet in Magaliesburg on August 6, 2012.
A fight ensued. Kazi was severely beaten and died in hospital.
Charges against Van Tonder were dropped in the Krugersdorp Magistrate's Court in November. National Prosecuting Authority spokeswoman Phindile Louw said the case against Van Tonder was withdrawn because of “lack of evidence linking him to the incident”.
On Monday, Van Tonder arrived in court wearing a grey shirt and accompanied by a woman.
Speaking outside the court, he told reporters he wanted to relay his condolences to Kazi's family and wife.
“I know it must be a hard time for them... I'm hoping that the truth will come out eventually and she will find closure,” he said.
In court, prosecutor Alicia Surendra asked that Viviers be transferred to a Johannesburg prison, as he had been kept in the Krugersdorp prison since he was arrested last year.
Nortjie opposed this, saying Viviers preferred to be in Krugersdorp so he could be closer to his family. The judge said it was an administrative issue which was not for him to decide.
Kazi's brother, Mohmed Nuaman Kazi, told reporters the loss of his brother made him feel like his “other half was gone”.
Kazi's wife, Sajidah, was also in court. Dressed in black traditional Muslim attire, she was in tears as she spoke to reporters outside court.
She said it was the first time she had seen Viviers. Fighting back tears, she said it was hard for her.
“I'm praying for closure and strength... My religion and faith is what's keeping me going.”
The couple had been married for 16 months. - Sapa