Some of the 42 people arrested for public violence were happy to be have their charges dismissed at the Brits Magistrate's Court. Picture: ANA/Stringer

Brits - Nine people who were arrested following violent protests in Brits, were granted R500 bail each at the Brits Magistrate's Court on Thursday.

Atlegang Moeketsi and eight others including his wife Jabulile Moeketsi briefly appeared before Magistrate Reagan Rosenberg on charges of robbery.

The State alleges that they assaulted three truck drivers, took the truck keys from them and used the truck to block streets in Brits on April 29. On one instance they used a hammer, axe and iron rod to threatened the driver before they forcefully took keys from him.

The State was opposed to them being granted bail on the ground that their addresses had not been confirmed. 

The court refused to grant a postponement.

Jeff Moyo, for the accused, asked the court to release his clients on warning, stating that the State cannot prove that they committed the offence.

He told the court that Moeketsi who, was driving a minibus taxi, was employed at a local mine, and he was on his way to work together with his wife and other colleagues, when taxis were stopped in Brits, due to a protest, while other people got out of the taxi some other people got in fearing the situation outside.

"When the police searched the minibus taxi they found truck keys, [an] axe, [a] hammer and an iron rod, which Moyo said could have left by people getting in an out of the minibus taxi," Moyo said.

Moyo argued that the accused were known in their community and the community had filled the court in support of their bail application and it would be easy to verify their addresses, he stresssed that if the State was concerned about the legitimacy of their addresses, the accused relatives were in court and could submit affidavits confirming the addresses.

Meanwhile charges of public violence were withdrawn against 42 people arrested in connection with this protest.

African News Agency (ANA)