UPDATE: #KFCAssault accused ‘unfairly defamed’ as racist group

Stephan Nel next to the other accused in court. Photo: Corlia Kruger

Five men accused of assaulting a couple at a KFC in Montana, say they have been defamed in a one-sided “media trail”.

They appeared in the Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

Stephan Nel (38), DJ van Rooyen (26), Marius Harding (22), Ockert Muller (20) and Joshua Schultz (21) appeared together in courtroom A.

Muller was granted bail last Friday and Harding abandoned his bail bid.

Nel, Van Rooyen and Schultz’s bail hearing is scheduled to take place next Friday.

Also read: UPDATE: #KFCAssault – another video surfaces

The court heard that the state wanted to charge the men with attempted murder‚ assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and pointing of a firearm.

Three of the men’s lawyers had argued in court for their bail application to be heard urgently.

“Justice delayed is justice denied,” lawyer JC Erasmus said after Magistrate Mothloki Rapulane wanted to postpone the bail application to decide whether the bail bid should be heard as if there was a Schedule 5 offence.

Attempted murder as a Schedule 5 offence would mean the accused would need to provide strong reasons why they need to be given bail.

Also read: UPDATE: Another arrest after KFC Montana attack

Some of the accused’s representatives argued the charges did not constitute a Schedule 5 offense.

They said the accused were victims of a one-sided trial in the media in which some social media users had apparently already decided their guilt.

Schultz’ lawyer Francois Kriel said after a video appeared on Facebook about the alleged assault, the accused were branded as a “racist gang” even though not all of the accused involved knew each other.

According to some of the accused’s accounts it was the complainants who had instigated the physical confrontation at the fast food outlet.

The three accused told the court they did not have previous convictions or pending criminal cases.

Also read: UPDATE: Four men appear on KFC incident

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Corlia Kruger

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UPDATE: #KFCAssault – another video surfaces