Gobabis racial discrimination hearing postponed

09 Jun 2013 06:20
GOBABIS, 09 JUN (NAMPA) ? The owner of Buffalo?s Bar at Gobabis who stands accused of racial discrimination and his co-accused in an assault charge were on Friday remanded in custody as their bail hearing stood over to Wednesday for further deliberation.
Both the State and the defence counsels agreed to finalise the bail application by 13 June 2013.
Lengthy arguments on whether closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage from Buffalo?s Bar should be permitted as evidence in court between the prosecution and the defence counsel led to the postponement.
The defence counsels, Louis Botes and Barend Venter, argued during the first day of the bail application that the footage from the bar will show that the two accused in the matter (bar owner Niko Kotze and his co-accused Frederick du Plessis) were merely defending themselves from an onslaught allegedly led by the complainant in the matter, Levi Katire.
The State on the other hand, represented by Gobabis control prosecutor Johan Pienaar, objected to the use of the said footage, arguing that the footage could have been tampered with in the interest of the defence.
It emerged during the deliberations that the footage was recorded from two separate camera ?eyes? installed on the premises, but that it was then compiled on one compact disc (CD) for viewing, as per the defence?s own admission.
Magistrate Victor Nyazo, who presided over the matter, postponed the hearing to 12 June at the State?s request.
The State informed the court that it intends to bring in a forensic expert on Friday (14 June) to study the footage before it can agree to the entering of the footage as evidence in court.
The court ruled that the studying of evidence would as such constitute the commencement of a mini-trial, or a trial within a trial, to determine the authenticity of evidence presented, in this case the CCTV footage from Buffalo?s Bar.
Defence attorney Botes spent the better part of Friday?s bail application attempting to prove to the court that Buffalo?s Bar was indeed a private bar, and one that is governed in conformity with existing laws.
Assisted by his client, the 36-year-old Kotze who was placed on the witness stand, Botes asserted to the court that Buffalo?s Bar was established as a private club with a restricted membership.
According to the rules of membership, as narrated by Kotze, the club is strictly for members and visitors are only allowed if brought in by an existing member of the club.
Kotze narrated from the witness stand that the club?s rules also state that an existing member may not bring to the club in his company more than four people, excluding family members.
While admitting to having assaulted the complainant, he argued that he had done so in self-defence as Katire allegedly made no secret of the fact that he intended to hurt him.
?He said ?Jou p***s, boer? (Your c***t, boer). After that he broke a bottle on the floor and came towards me with it. I first kicked him and he fell on the floor. He stood up and came towards me again. I punched him with a fist and he again fell down. He again stood up and came rushing at me with the bottle,? Kotze said.
He then stated that at that point, a friend of his sitting at the bar came to his assistance.
?He stabbed him (Katire) with an empty glass in the neck to save me,? Kotze narrated through an interpreter.
The 33-year-old Du Plessis, who was arrested on Thursday, has been added to the charge sheet. He faces one count of assault with the intention to cause grievous bodily harm, after he allegedly stabbed Katire in the neck with a glass.
According to the prosecution, the charge is most likely to be changed to attempted murder.
(NAMPA)
CT/AS