The Verulam Magistrate’s Court north of Durban has granted the prosecution’s application that seven people appear behind closed doors on charges linked to what some describe as racially motivated attacks and deaths in Phoenix during the unrest that gripped parts of the country two weeks ago.

Media houses had applied to follow the proceedings.

At least 20 people died in the Phoenix area during the violent unrest, while the death toll in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng stands at more than 330.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says the accused still have to undergo an identity parade.

Police have been keeping a close watch on two groups of people, who gathered outside court.

Residents of Phoenix have come to court to support the accused. Another group of African National Congress (ANC) Youth League and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members are opposed to the granting of bail.