The family of a Muslim man who was killed, allegedly by two Afrikaans-speaking men, voiced disappointment on Monday at being excluded from their court appearance.
“We are obviously disappointed that we didn't have an opportunity to see the accused inside today, and we hope this doesn't happen again,” family spokesman Zahid Asmal told reporters at the Krugersdorp Magistrate's Court.
Family members, the public, and journalists were told the appearance would take place in Court D, only to learn later that the two accused had appeared in a courtroom across the hallway.
“It's taken all of us by surprise as we were denied access into a free court,” Asmal said.
Relatives tried to force their way into the court, but the door was locked. They knocked and pleaded, but to no avail.
Police told the family that the reason nobody was allowed into the courtroom was because the men still had to appear in an identity parade.
Bail was denied and the matter was postponed to August 21.
The two are accused of killing 27-year-old Muhammad Fayaz Kazi last Monday. Kazi and a close friend, Anser Mahmood, were attacked at a Chicken Licken outlet in Magaliesburg.
Two men apparently made fun of Kazi's beard, sparking a fight. Kazi died in hospital on Tuesday.
Mahmood, a blue bruise under his eye, was at court on Monday. He said he wanted to see justice done.
A Muslim woman who participated in a protest outside the court said more people were expected to show their support at the next court appearance.
She said Muslims across the country were enraged, and some wanted the two men to be released into their custody.
Asmal said the family and the Muslim community would allow justice to take its course.
“There are talks of protest action, but we are mature enough to deal with this in a sensible manner,” Asmal said. - Sapa