Accused tells of terror in PollsmoorComment on this story
Cape Town -
Pollsmoor Prison gangsters used a sharpened toothbrush when threatening to rape Kyle Maspero, an accused in the Rosemary Theron murder case. This is according to Maspero’s affidavit, submitted to the Simon’s Town Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
“Gang activity is endemic and the 26s, 27s and 28s are firmly entrenched. In fact, the beds are arranged in such a manner as to provide each ‘number’ with their own encampment.
“Improvised weapons are common, violence is commonplace and as soon as a new inmate arrives, he is interrogated and beaten into submission by the resident gangsters in the cell.
“You are also promptly robbed of your belongings and I personally was dispossessed of my shoes, T-shirt and hooded top,” Maspero’s affidavit said, referring to his time in a communal cell.
Maspero, 18, on Monday appeared alone in the dock of the court to apply for bail.
He is accused of murdering Clovelly mother Rosemary Theron, who was reported missing in March last year and whose body was found in a shallow grave in Strandfontein in October.
Maspero is accused, along with Rosemary Theron’s daughter, Phoenix Racing Cloud Theron, 19, as well as Godfrey Scheepers, 20.
About four months ago Scheepers was released on bail, while Theron has not applied to be released from custody.
On Monday, during Maspero’s bail application, his legal representative, William de Grass, read out his affidavit.
It said he was initially detained “in a communal, lice-infested cell” in Pollsmoor with about 60 other awaiting trial inmates. About half of the inmates were not gang members, who in prison were referred to as “Franse”.
“We were compelled to sleep on the floor and would usually huddle together in order to avoid constant harassment from the ‘numbers’. Sexual assaults on inmates are not uncommon,” Maspero’s affidavit said.
It said on his arrival, when warders had closed the cell door, three 26s gangsters had attacked him.
He had managed to punch one on the nose and other “Franse” had helped Maspero.
“One of my assailants, however, managed to stab me in the left shoulder with a makeshift knife during the mêlée. Needless to say, I remained in mortal danger as the ‘numbers’ were furious that I had escaped their clutches.
“Later that night, the same gangsters woke me up with a sharpened toothbrush and threatened to rape me, prompting me to wake my fellow ‘Franse’, who drove them off. Once again, the gangsters retreated, threatening all manner of retribution,” Maspero’s affidavit said.
He had later been moved to a single cell. Maspero said this was still dangerous because on January 23, as he was returning to his cell from a phone room, another inmate, a gang initiate known as Mad Max, attacked him with a sharpened piece of metal.
Maspero’s affidavit gave a detailed account of his childhood. The youngest of three siblings, he was born in Knysna.
Maspero’s affidavit said when he was a year old, his parents divorced and he briefly stayed with his mother in Knysna, but she could not care for him.
He lived with his grandmother and was then returned to his mother, who suddenly died when Maspero was seven.
The affidavit said he was then adopted by her boyfriend.
When Maspero was nine he accidentally burned down their neighbour’s home and he was sent back to live with his grandmother.
He eventually moved in with a family friend, Martin Hatchuel, in Knysna, who he regarded as a father figure.
Maspero’s affidavit said he had been in a romantic relationship with Theron and followed her to Cape Town in 2009 and lived with Theron and her mother.
On Christmas Day 2012, Maspero and Theron returned to Hatchuel in Knysna.
However, the affidavit said Theron had prompted him to return with her to her mother’s Clovelly home.
The bail application is expected to continue on February 18.