Bouncer acquitted of nightclub death

A bouncer charged in connection with the death of a man following a nightclub brawl was found not guilty in the Pretoria Regional Court on Wednesday.

The trial, which started on Tuesday, ended in an acquittal for Bernard Potgieter shortly before the lunch break on Wednesday, said control prosecutor William Manzini.

Potgieter was arrested on May 11 last year after Johan Winterbach was left paralysed in a nightclub fight.

The state alleged Potgieter was a bouncer at the Good 4 Fellas nightclub when a fight broke out in May last year. Winterbach (20) was apparently thrown out of the club and found on the pavement outside by friends.

Potgieter was initially charged with assault with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm.

When Winterbach died two months later, the charge was changed to one of culpable homicide.

Potgieter reportedly pleaded not guilty, claiming he acted in self defence.

South African Broadcasting Corporation radio news reported that magistrate Allan Cowen found the evidence to point to a tragic set of circumstances.

Both men apparently fell to the ground after their legs became entangled during the brawl. It is believed Winterbach suffered a fatal neck injury in the fall.—Sapa

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