Pietermaritzburg -

Three men, including a former policeman, charged with the brutal assault and murder of a Pietermaritzburg pub patron, have been granted bail.

Riaz Valley, 24, Yaseen Mohamed, 33, and Aasif Mohamed, 30, are charged with the murder of Sipho Nkala on the night of February 23 outside the 14 Steps Pub at Debi Place in Northdale.

Each was granted bail of R2 000 by Pietermaritzburg Magistrate Ashin Singh on Thursday, and placed under house arrest.

Nkala suffered massive internal bleeding and had many abrasions and open wounds as a result of the alleged beating he received at the hands of his attackers.

The three men submitted affidavits to the court in support of their bid for bail.

Valley did not elaborate on the incident, except to say that he intended pleading not guilty to murder, but Yaseen and Aasif Mohamed gave detailed accounts of their involvement in the incident.

The Mohameds are brothers.

In his affidavit, Yaseen explained that he was a former policeman and was married with four young children, the youngest of which is 10 days old.

He has previous convictions for corruption, impersonating a police officer, theft and pointing a firearm.

He said that on the night of the killing he had had no altercation with Nkala, and was not involved in any prior argument with him.

“I simply arrived on the scene to separate what appeared to be an argument between Nkala and my brother, Aasif. I did not so much as touch Nkala.”

In his affidavit, Aasif admitted that he and Nkala were involved in a “minor argument” that flowed from a misunderstanding.

Aasif said that, when he got to the pub, he was denied entry. He approached Nkala, who was outside the pub, to buy the beer for him, and gave him R20.

“There appeared to be some sort of commotion or misunderstanding when Riaz Valley arrived with my brother, Yaseen,” Aasif said.

Aasif said he was standing on a staircase when Nkala hit out at him with the beer bottle. In defending himself, he retaliated, which resulted in Nkala falling down the stairs.

“Valley then assaulted Nkala, and neither I nor my brother was involved in any further altercation. I was astounded by what transpired between Valley and Nkala thereafter,” he said.

The case has been adjourned to April 10. - Daily News