The 41-year-old father of two and six other accused are applying for bail in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court in Johannesburg.
Nyathi, a Zimbabwean national, was beaten and burnt to death in Diepsloot north of Johannesburg earlier this month.
The seven men are facing charges of murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, assault, robbery and extortion.
Accused number one says he intends to plead not guilty as he was not involved in any criminal acts on the day Elvis Nyathi was killed.
He says he is well known in the community as he is active in political structures and a CPF member. He says on April 7, 2022, he was attending a community meeting addressed by the Minister of Police at Diepsloot police station.
He says police arrived at his house late one night over the Easter weekend and arrested him without explaining why he was being arrested. He denies the crimes he is accused of, stating he has a strong alibi confirming he was home during the mob act.
ZANU-PF reacts to the killing of Nyathi:
ZANU-PF in SA condemns the murder
ZANU-PF in South Africa condemned the murder.
The party called on the South African government and the ruling party to seek lasting solutions to high number of crimes in communities.
It says law enforcement agencies should bring to book those committing crimes in the communities regardless of their nationalities.
The party says it reiterates that it doesn’t condone any criminality by any Zimbabwean nationals.
The Nyathi family has since been evacuated out of the area to a place of safety.
ZANU-PF’s SA spokesperson Kennedy Mandaza has pleaded with South Africans, especially the people of Diepsloot, to respect the rule of law.
The video below reports on the visit by Gauteng Premier David Makhura :