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Johannesburg - Roedolf Viviers, who is accused of murdering a Muslim man, should be released on bail as there is no legitimate public outcry against his release, the Krugersdorp Magistrate's Court heard on Tuesday.
“An expression of anger by family and friends does not equal a public outcry,” said Viviers's lawyer Jack Gerber.
“The alleged incident happened in Magaliesberg, and not in Lenasia, where most family and friends (of the deceased) reside,” he said.
People in the public gallery raised their voices in anger at Gerber's statement.
Magistrate Reginald Dama ordered them keep quiet.
“I will charge anyone with contempt of court should there be disturbances in this court.... I am serious about that,” he warned.
Viviers is applying for bail.
He and another man, Zayne van Tonder, 33, allegedly insulted Muhammad Fayaaz Kazi and his friend Anser Mahmood 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.
Gerber said that although there had been public interest since Viviers' first appearance in court last year, there had been no outcry.
He said the court proceedings were attended by only a handful of friends and family.
“With due respect, your Worship, the Muslim religion is not only limited to Lenasia residents,” Gerber submitted.
He said Viviers would lose his income should he continue to be incarcerated.
The hearing continues. - Sapa