John Frederick Coetzee

The four men accused of murdering gay nightclub owner Bruno Bronn will remain in custody, at least until their bail hearing on 20 February.

John Frederick Coetzee, Fareez Allie, Achmat Toffa and Kurt Erispe appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Monday following their arrests over the weekend.

They were not ask to plead and little more about the case was revealed. More is expected to become clear during the men’s collective bail application hearing, set for next Monday.

The motive for the murder is unclear but they may also face additional criminal charges, possibly including robbery of Bronn’s BMW and other possessions.

Eyewitness News reported that one of Bronn’s close friends, Phillip King, attended the hearing.

King confirmed that Coetzee, who has previous drug possession and assault convictions, was well known to Bronn and had worked as a bouncer at his clubs and had previously lived in the apartment below Bronn’s house.

According to King, Bronn was in fear of his life after he accused Coetzee of stealing money and traveller’s cheques from him.

Bronn’s body was found by a domestic worker at his Sea Point home on 7 February. It is believed that he was strangled to death although police have not confirmed the cause of death.

He was the owner of the popular Bronx and Navigaytion nightclubs that recently closed down.

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