A group of people protesting outside the Brits Magistrate's Court, demanding that seven people accused of the kidnapping and murder of Mooinooi couple Anisha and Joey van Niekerk must not be granted bail. Picture: Molaole Montsho/ANA

Brits - Three of the seven people accused of the murder of a North West lesbian couple were beaten when they were arrested, the Brits Magistrate's Court heard on Wednesday.

Pontsho Raikane told the court that his client Koos Strydom was assaulted and he had internal injuries and could not sleep at night. He added that he was arrested on December 12 and only brought to court after 48 hours had lapsed.

"Accused two [Strydom] had a broken finger. He was severely beaten to extent that he is urinating blood. When he appear before the court previously, he was swollen on the right side of his face and had a red eye," Raikane told the court.

He said despite the injuries his client was never taken for medical attention.

Raikane added that accused one, Aaron Sithole, had his pinkie finger broken, and accused five Moses Rakubu also said he was assaulted.

Magistrate Semakaleng Thamage ordered that the investigating officer take the accused for medical attention within two days.

Raikane further charged that Vincent Strydom was brought before court without being charged, but prosecutor Christine Molaudzi presented documentary evidence that Vincent Strydom had been formally charged. 

Magistrate Thamage dismissed the application that Strydom was brought late to court.

"The State submitted documents, the rights read to the accused at the time of arrest, dated December 14, it is clear the accused was arrested in Mooinooi at 4: 55 on December 14. He appeared in court on December 15 which is within the 48 hours. The application is rejected," he ruled.

The State alleges that Aaron Sithole, 23, Koos Strydom, 53, Jack Mokotedi, 18, Alex Mudau, 36, Moses Rakubu, 33, Vincent Strydom, 29, and  Maruschka Opperman, 18, kidnapped, robbed and killed Joey van Niekerk, 32, and Gesina Sophia Anisha van Niekerk, 30, of Mooinooi.

The couple went missing on December 10, they left for a funeral in Pretoria but never arrived. Their car was found burnt out on December 16 in the Magaliesburg area. Police expect to make more arrests.

The case was postponed to January 15 for bail application, as one of the lawyer representing Alex Modau and Moses Rakubu was not ready to continue with the bail application as he had had only consulted with them on Wednesday morning.

Wynand van Niekerk, Anisha's brother said the couple was selling their smallholding in Mooinooi. "One of the accused rented a space, and my sister had wrote a notice that there may be a new owner soon," he said outside the court.

He confirmed that Anisha and Joey had been legally married for three years.

The court room was packed with people wearing black t-shirts, emblazoned with the words "geen borg" (no bail) at the back.

African News Agency/ANA