Seven people including Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) officials who include former Pick and Pay employees who were arrested on Thursday and Friday respectively following protests over alleged nepotism at the leading supermarket chains in the country appeared before a Bulawayo Magistrate on Saturday.
Magistrate Adelaide Mbeure granted six of the suspects $100 bail each while one of the accused, Welcome Moyo, was removed from remand after the state failed to link him to the crime.
The six are accused of contravening section 37 (criminal law (Codification and Reform Act).
Their lawyer, Prince Bhutshe Dube, told the court that one of the suspects, Trevor Wisdom Mkhwananzi, was heavily assaulted by the police.
“Your worship I want to bring to your attention that one of the accused was seriously injured. He can hardly walk. His knees were stamped on,” the lawyer told the court.
In opposing bail, the state argued that the suspects were likely to commit a similar crime because their demands had not been acceded to.
On Thursday, a group of former Pick n Pay employees, together with the MRP officials, stormed the supermarket demanding to be reinstated after alleging unfair dismissal.
The protesters, who claimed that they were dismissed on tribal grounds, declared that the shop would remain closed until management renewed their contracts.
Dube from Abameli Lawyers for Human rights successfully applied for bail after the state had strongly opposed bail saying the suspects were a flight risk.
The accused were also ordered to stay at their given addresses as well as not to interfere with state witnesses. They were also ordered not to visit Pick and Pay Hyper except when they are shopping.