Kazi murder 'not religious or racist'

One of the men accused of assaulting a Muslim man says it was not about race or religion.

(L) Zane van Tonder and Rudolph Viviers (R) appear in the Krugersdorp Magistrate's Court on Tuesday, 21 August 2012 on murder charges after the death of Mohammed Fayaaz Kazi from Ventersdorp. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - One of the men arrested in connection with the murder of a Muslim man in Magaliesburg on Friday said the attack was not about religion or racism.

In August, Muhammad Fayaaz Kazi was killed after he and a friend were assaulted, allegedly during a fight with two men who compared him to Osama Bin Laden.

The accused appeared in court on Thursday.

In court, the state withdrew assault charges against Zane van Tonder due to a lack of evidence.

On his way out of court, van Tonder insisted the incident was simply a fight gone wrong and not a racial attack.

"Hopefully, the truth will be heard. This was just a fight that went wrong, it wasn't religious or racist."

He expressed his condolences to the Kazi family and said he hopes the truth about what really happened will come out in court.

Van Tonder and friend Roedolf Viviers' case will continue in January.