One of the five men accused of assaulting a couple at a KFC drive-through section in Montana, Pretoria in 2017, may have been “erroneously” arrested.
Marius Harding, DJ van Rooyen, Stefan Nel, Joshua Schultz and Ockert Muller were arrested and accused of assaulting Jacob and Dudu Sono during the early hours of August 3, 2017.
The five men were charged with attempted murder, assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm and pointing a firearm.
In a letter dated 2 August, by the Gauteng Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), which News24 has been seen, only four of the men were implicated by the complainants.
According to the letter, which is signed by the chief clerk to the DPP, the complainants who have viewed videos of the incident several times and have also been in court must now provide additional affidavits to clarify if the accused before court are the same men in the videos who allegedly assaulted them.
“They must also clarify the role of the fifth suspect or indicate if he was arrested erroneously,” the letter reads.
The DPP has also instructed that an additional statement be obtained from the arresting officer, clarifying why he arrested four of the accused at the scene.
“Were they still assaulting the complainants or did anyone point [out] the accused to him.”
Furthermore, the letter mentions that only in July 2019 was it established that there are other video clips recorded by the complainants during the incident.
“The investigating officer must obtain still picture from these videos. If possible, a report from [a] facial expert must be obtained.”
The new instructions for further investigation as well as new information contained in the letter comes over two years after the matter was first enrolled at the Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court in August 2017.
The accused have made several court appearances and the matter was postponed several times since its inception, with no trial date set.
On Thursday, charges were provisionally withdrawn against the five accused following the DPP’s letter for further investigations.
The letter also follows on representations made by the accused as to why they should not be prosecuted.
News24 previously reported that Attorney Nols Nolte for Nel, Harding and Schultz told the court that a letter had been received from the National Prosecuting Authority about several aspects of the investigation that still have to be conducted.
“They told us 21 months ago that the investigation was complete,” Nolte said.
Advocate Francois Kriel also said it was strange that there was a new list of instructions two years after the matter was first put on the roll.