Brett Williams was beaten to death after a rugby match at Kings Park Stadium in Durban. Pic: Supplied

Durban - One of five men accused beating a rugby fan to death in Durban was released on R2000 bail on Thursday.

His four co-accused would remain in custody for a formal bail application next week, the Durban Magistrate's Court ruled.

Magistrate Vanitha Armu ordered that the names and pictures of the five men not be published. They are accused of beating Brett Williams, 29, to death at a Super XV match in Durban last month.

The four still awaiting their bail hearing each face a murder charge. All five face charges of crimen injuria and assault with the intention to commit grievous bodily harm.

Prosecutor Krishen Shah told the court: “By Monday the State will have formulated its stance with regard to a bail application.”

The four facing murder charges would be held at the Durban North police station. Armu ordered that all five report for an identity parade on Monday morning before appearing in court again in the afternoon.

Shah told the court an order preventing the publication of the names and pictures of the men was needed, as investigators still needed to hold an identity parade.

“The order is needed to protect the status of the investigation,” he said.

Defence lawyer Paul Jorgensen argued the names of the accused were probably already in the public domain through social networking websites. The court was packed with media, family members, and friends of the five men.

Williams, a former Royal Marine, survived tours of Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as patrolling the waters off Somalia on anti-piracy missions, according to a report in the British Western Daily Press newspaper.

As family and friends left the court, a tearful woman was being comforted by an elderly gentleman. - Sapa