Alleged Krugersdorp 'beard killer' denied bail

Rudolph Viviers and Zane van Tonder in court on August 21 2012 in connection to the murder of Mohammed Fayaaz Kazi.(Gallo)

Rudolph Viviers and Zane van Tonder in court on August 21 2012 in connection to the murder of Mohammed Fayaaz Kazi.(Gallo)

"The applicant failed dismally to prove to this court that it would be in the interest of justice to release him on bail. Bail is therefore denied," said magistrate Reginald Dama on Tuesday.

Viviers and another man, Zayne van Tonder (33) allegedly insulted Muhammad Fayaaz Kazi (27) and his friend Anser Mahmood (33) about their beards at a Chicken Licken outlet in Magaliesburg on August 6 2012.

"Two white people ... they called him [Osama] bin Laden in Afrikaans because of his beard ... and then they called us kaffirs," Mahmood said on Augut 8 2012.

"Fayaaz, he understood Afrikaans, and was arguing with them."

All four were thrown out of the fast food shop, and the fight continued outside.

"I asked why they were troubling him and he punched me," Mahmood said. "I don't know what he hit me with. I was unconscious."

Violent death
​Mahmood was mostly hit in the face, while Kazi was beaten over the head. Mahmood said he did not know what object was used to attack Kazi as he was lying on his side.

"Nobody helps us. They wanted me dead also, but I survived."

Kazi died in hospital at Potchefstroom. The murder case was registered at Potchefstroom police station.

The Media Review Network, a Muslim advocacy group on human rights, called on Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa to ensure a speedy investigation was undertaken.

Researcher Ibrahim Vawda said there was widespread anger across the Muslim community. "We strongly urge all members of our community to exercise restraint and patience and to allow the normal process of the law to take its course."

Kazi's brothers Mohammed Nuaman (22) and Mohammed Farhan (18) shouted "Praise Allah" when Dama made his ruling.

Kazi's widow Sajidah sobbed and hugged friends and relatives who packed the public gallery.

Viviers, who was wearing glasses, a blue shirt and khaki pants calmly listened to Dama. He looked at his feet when he was led to the police cells. He will appear in the High Court in Johannesburg on March 4, when a trial date is to be set. – Sapa



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