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Johannesburg - Her voice trembled as she tried to maintain her composure.
Sajidah Kazi had just come face to face with the man who allegedly killed her husband during an Islamophobic attack.
“I was very anxious before I came here… Today was hard and it will still get harder. At the moment we are all hanging by a string. I’m still trying to gather the strength but we are a step closer,” she said, a tear rolling down her cheek.
The alleged murderer appeared briefly in the Johannesburg High Court’s courtroom 2B on Monday on a charge of murdering Fazi’s husband Mohammed Fazaaz Kazi as well as one of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.
Mohammed, 27, died in August last year after Rudolph Viviers allegedly kicked and beat him after he took offence when he and his former co-accused, Zane van Tonder, mocked his beard and called him “Osama bin Laden”.
Asner Mahmood, who was with Mohammed at the time, was assaulted too.
The altercation took place outside a Chicken Licken outlet in Magaliesburg.
Charges against Van Tonder, however, were dropped at the Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court in November due to a lack of evidence.
An emotional Kazi said: “It’s the first time I’m seeing the accused live, and that other guy (Van Tonder) walking free is difficult, but my faith is what is keeping me grounded.”
Despite the State being ready to proceed with the trial on Monday, the matter had to be postponed for Viviers, 28, to decide whether he could gather the necessary funds to retain his lawyer, Henti Nortje, or instead require a Legal Aid lawyer.
Nortje told the court that he had consulted with Viviers at Krugersdorp Prison four times since he was appointed as his lawyer on November 29, and still needed more time to consult as there would be possibly 39 witnesses for the trial.
The case was postponed to a provisional date of March 4, but the trial is likely to begin in May.
Meanwhile, Van Tonder said he wanted to send his condolences to Kazi’s family, adding: “Hopefully we’ll all find closure.”