PRETORIA, June 28 – The defence attorney of the five Pretoria men accused of assaulting a black couple at a KFC drive through has accused the South African Police Service of deliberately delaying the case by refusing to furnish them with a cellphone belonging to one of the accused.
Advocate Nolse Nolte who is representing three of the accused, including Marius Harding whose cellphone is still in police custody, told the court on Thursday that his client informed him that the cellphone has crucial information hence they wanted to use it as part of their evidence.
“If we can’t get that phone, we won’t be in position to prepare for trial,” said Nolte.
Nolte asked the court to draft an order which would compel police officers to hand over the cellphone.
State Prosecutor Lucri Shivambo said it would not be necessary for the court to intervene as she has been informed that the new investigating officer was in possession of the cellphone and that it could be collected from police on Friday.
The matter will be heard on August 13 at the Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court.
A video taken with a cellphone went viral on social media, showing five men verbally and physically assaulting Jacob and Dudu Sono on August 3 at a KFC outlet in Montana.
Harding, Stephan Nel, DJ van Rooyen, Ockert Muller and Joshua Scholtz are facing charges of attempted murder, assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm, and the pointing of a firearm.
Four of the accused have been released on bail while Harding was denied bail.
Harding was arrested in 2014 on charge’s of assault and crimen injuria for allegedly assaulting three petrol pump attendants and hurling racial slurs at a garage in Petrus Steyn, Free State.
He is also facing a charge of fraud in a separate case in KwaZulu-Natal. (ANA)