The deceased had to undergo an amputation of his arm due to the extensive injuries suffered during the attack.
The accused were initially arrested on charges of attempted murder following the altercation that took place in Community Road, Florianville on Christmas Day at about 6 am.
Police spokesperson, Captain Sergio Kock, on Tuesday said that the charge was changed to murder after the victim died in hospital on January 2.
The accused - David du Plessis, Cassius Kock, Clyde Niewenhuizen and Fabian May - appeared in court on Monday for a formal bail application.
Legal representative for the accused, Chande Booysen, said that her clients stood to lose their jobs if they remained in custody any longer. “Bail is an entrenched Constitutional right. It is not about guilt or innocence.”
She found the absence of the investigating officer at the bail application, “unacceptable”.
“My clients cannot wait for the police to get their act together. Dissatisfaction is an understatement - we cannot accept another postponement.”
She encouraged the court to finalise the bail application as a matter of urgency on Monday.
“My clients are being prejudiced as we were all here at 9 am. Things were not done as they should have. Apart from the absence of the investigating officer, this matter had to stand down a number of times.”
State prosecutor, Elmari Kruger, explained that the investigating officer had indicated that he would be available on Tuesday.
The state opposed bail as the charges are classified as a Schedule 5 offence.
She added that the court had to attend to other matters on the roll and requested that the bail application be postponed until Tuesday, after proceedings carried on past 4 pm on Monday afternoon.
The magistrate indicated that the accused had appeared in court on December 31, where the state requested a postponement to obtain the profiles of the accused.
“The matter was postponed for a formal bail application while the investigating officer is apparently on sick leave, although no sick note was submitted.
“The state prosecutor indicated that she had contacted the commander of the investigating officer to stand in for the bail hearing. She was, however, informed that he/she was not available.
“According to the state prosecutor, the colleague who was supposed to stand in for the investigating officer informed her that he/she was not familiar with the docket and would be unable to proceed with the bail application.”
The magistrate added that the court was not aware of the person who apparently presented him/herself to court to stand in for the investigating officer.
The court agreed to postpone the bail hearing to Tuesday.
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