Vagrant’s death: Court told of lewd SMSesComment on this story
Cape Town - A homeless man who died after a scuffle with two private investigators and a police officer had allegedly been sending lewd messages to a 22-year-old woman, harassing and stalking her in the days before his death.
This emerged in the Blue Downs Magistrate’s Court on Monday when private investigators Hendric Jones, 62, John Ross, 56, and police officer Lieutenant Hester Blom, 53, made their first court appearances in connection with the death of Algyn Bester, 34.
The three have started their bail applications and the matter is set to continue on Wednesday.
They were arrested on Friday after Bester was found 500m from the Haven Night Shelter in Kraaifontein, where he slept. His hands and feet were bound and Jones, Ross and Blom were at the scene when police arrived.
The attorney representing the three, Peter Mihalik, read out and handed in affidavits on behalf of his clients and a fourth document – recordings of SMSes allegedly sent from Bester to a Sea Point woman.
Mihalik said Bester had stalked the woman “over a lengthy period.”
In one message Bester allegedly told the woman he had installed her television set. “Ek wil nou liefde met jou maak,” (I want to make love to you) was another message. He also asked what underwear she was wearing, and in another message he asked about her panties and referred to sexual acts and their private parts.
Mihalik said those were among the messages that led the woman to hire private investigators and to complain to police in Sea Point.
Blom, based at Sea Point Police Station, had been investigating. She was wearing casual clothes but was on duty when she met Jones and Ross before they confronted Bester about 6am on Friday.
In the affidavits handed to the court, Blom said she had been contacted by Ross who said Bester was found sleeping at the shelter.
In her statement, Blom said she called Bester over to the car, identified herself and told him she wanted to ask him a few questions. She said Bester was “guarded” and when she asked to see his cellphone, he put his hands in his pockets and took out a knife.
“I was shocked at the violent turn of events,” her statement read.
She said Bester had resisted arrest and it took a long time before he was subdued.
In their statements, Jones and Ross said they had seen Bester pull a knife on a female officer, putting her life in danger and that they both had “acted out of necessity”.