Stephan Nel, 39, Marius Harding, 23, DJ van Rooyen, 21, Ockert Muller, 20, and Joshua Scholtz, 21, at the Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court. File picture: Bongani Shilubane/ANA

Pretoria - The case against five Pretoria men accused of assaulting a black couple – Jacob Sono and his wife Dudu – at a KFC drive-through will be heard next year, the Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court said on Monday.

Magistrate Motlhoki Rapulana said the matter will be back in court on February 21, and it has now been moved to the regional court.

The court has also been informed that accused number three, 23-year-old Marius Harding, who is the only of the five accused remaining in custody, will in the interim be bringing a bail application.

Harding had abandoned his bail application at an earlier stage, when his co-accused sought bail.

On October 17, the High Court in Pretoria overturned Rapulana’s decision denying bail to 21-year-old Dicky Junior van Rooyen, Stephen Nel, 39, and Joshua Scholtz, 21. The trio had appealed to the superior court after Rapulana denied them bail in August.

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In denying the trio bail, Rapulana cited the seriousness of the charges they face and the public outcry which followed the much publicised incident which took place at a KFC drive-through in Pretoria north on August 3.

Ockert Muller, 20, had been granted bail by police soon after the incident happened and Rapulana had extended his R5,000 bail. 

Acting Judge Andre Petersen overturned Rapulana’s decision and granted bail of R5,000 each to Van Rooyen, Nel and Schultz.

On Monday, Rapulana extended the bail conditions of the four accused men - Muller, Van Rooyen, Nel and Scholtz - until February.

The five are facing charges of attempted murder, assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm, and the pointing a firearm. 

During the bail application phase, State witnesses, including two police officers, testified that the five had acted in common purpose and that the attack was racially motivated.

The attack was captured on cellphone video and the clip went viral on social media. There was a public outcry leading to the arrest of the five men.

African News Agency