Accused, from left: Stephan Nel, 39, Marius Harding, 23, DJ van Rooyen, 21, Ockert Muller, 20, and Josua Scholtz, 21, in the Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court. Picture: Bongani Shilubane / ANA
DURBAN - Five men accused of assaulting a black couple at a KFC outlet in Montana, Pretoria, last week have appeared in court over the incident.

Stephan Nel, 39, Marius Harding, 23, DJ van Rooyen, 21, Ockert Muller, 20, and Joshua Scholtz, 21, were in the dock on Thursday. They will spend another week in Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Centre before knowing the outcome of their bail application.

They face charges of attempted murder, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and pointing a firearm.

The five appeared before magistrate Mathloki Rapulana in the Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court.

The case was postponed for clarity on the investigating officer’s affidavits.

Proceedings got off to a surprising start when one of the accused, Harding, abandoned his bail application. It is believed he has previous assault convictions.

Muller was granted bail last week in the same court.

It was down to their three accomplices versus the State during their bail application.

The tug-of-war began when the defence attorneys for the three objected to prosecutor Ronnie Sibanda mooting a schedule 5 offence for attempted murder.

The defence attorneys tried to convince the magistrate that there was no proof to sustain the attempted murder charge.

But, after deliberations, they accepted the charges of the schedule 5 offence to continue with their bail bid.

Nel’s attorney requested bail because of his heart condition.

It is believed that the 39-year-old has a blood pressure condition and needs to take chronic medication for hypertension.

The attorney said Nel was the sole breadwinner in his household, and that his stay-at-home wife and 22-month-old baby depended on him.

The other accused - Van Rooyen and Scholtz - tried to assure the magistrate that they were not a flight risk should they be granted bail and that they wouldn’t interfere with the investigation.

Scholtz handed himself over to the police on Monday.

A video of the couple being attacked sparked anger when it was shared on social media on Friday, prompting Police Minister Fikile Mbalula to request an urgent investigation.

The couple were allegedly assaulted when they asked the driver of the car in front of them to move forward in the drive-through queue last week.

The men had ordered and were supposed to collect their food at the next window. In the video, the attackers could be heard swearing at Jacob Sono, 39, and his wife Dudu, 33.

Police spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubele said the five were in two separate cars and attacked the couple behind them in the queue last Wednesday night.

Makhubele said that a firearm was drawn and used to intimidate the couple. One of the men was heard saying “skiet hom (shoot him)” in the video.

Makhubele said the couple are getting trauma counselling.

Daily News