Brett Williams was beaten to death at King's Park Stadium after a rugby match. Photo: Supplied


Durban - Names and pictures of five men accused of beating a rugby fan to death cannot be published, the Durban Magistrate's Court ruled on Thursday.

Magistrate Vanitha Armu made the decision after an application by prosecutor Krishen Shah.

The five men, four of whom face a murder charge, are accused of beating Brett Williams, 29, to death at a Super XV match in Durban last month.

Shah told the court that 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 that the names of the accused were probably already in the public domain through social networking websites.

The court was filled with media, family members, and friends of the five men.

Police spokesman Colonel Vincent Mdunge said on Wednesday the five each faced a murder charge and a charge of assault with intent to commit grievous bodily harm.

The latter charge related to the assault of a security guard who tried to intervene and stop the March 23 attack on Williams.

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. - Sapa