Three of the 14 suspects accused of taking part in the Zandspruit vigilante attacks have been granted bail by the Roodepoort Magistrate's Court.
The two men and a woman, Phakiswa Tsengiswa, Phillimon Seemela and Phiwe Khubheka stand accused accused of participating in the murder of eight Zandspruit men in May.
Nine others were denied bail while two abandoned their bail application.
The 13 men and one woman are accused of assaulting and then setting alight nine young men on a soccer field in Zandspruit in Johannesburg. Four victims died on the scene, four others died over a period of days in hospital while only one survived. The suspects face kidnapping, attempted murder and murder charges.
Magistrate Ruby Mathys said these killings shocked the country.
“The circumstances under which the murders were conducted have shocked the South African community at large for its gruesome and merciless character. Having regard to the evidence on record, including the photos of the crime scene, it is a serious indictment on our society that people can be so violent towards another human being,” she said.
“The perpetrators were resolute in total disregard of all laws, rules and norms that all of us are obliged to,” Mathys said.
She said civil society must respond to crime whenever it surfaces with fairness and justice.
The magistrate said the three accused that were granted bail had alternative addresses outside Zandspruit.
She also said vigilantism is prevalent in Zandspruit and police have so far failed to find a solution for that crime.
“Accused 4, 10 and 13, an amount of R3000 bail, each is fixed. It’s highly probable should the accused return to Zandspruit violence will erupt between the opposing groups and their own safety cannot be guaranteed,” said the magistrate.
The case was postponed to 27 October.