Accused in ‘race attack’ case released
Cape Town - The State is set to investigate why two of the five men charged with attempted murder after Manenberg grandmother Delia Adonis was beaten and racially assaulted in front of her teenage son, were released from police custody on Monday.
The duo linked to the assault handed themselves over to police and were charged on Monday after they had returned to their homes in East London following the incident in Claremont on October 17.
The two men, along with Aaron Mack, 20, Chad De Matos, 19, and Mitchell Turner, 20, have been charged with attempted murder, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and crimen injuria. Although they have been charged, neither of the two may be named until they have formally appeared in court.
Adonis, 52, a mother of six who works as a cleaner at Stadium On Main in Claremont, told police she was viciously attacked and racially insulted by five men in the shopping centre’s parking lot on October 17.
Her son, Tesh-Lee, 17, who also works at the mall, witnessed the attack and came to her aid.
Mack, from Knysna, and De Matos and Turner, from East London, made their third appearance in court on Thursday, but the other two accused, who were present in court, did not appear before Magistrate Xoliswa Ndoyana.
State prosecutor Nathan Johnson told the court: “The two suspects were released from custody following improper procedure. As they both face a schedule five offence they should have been kept in custody or their defence should have arranged for them to appear before a prosecutor for a bail hearing.
“None of this happened and under no circumstances were they supposed to be released into the care of their attorney. The State will be investigating how this happened.”
Johnson added: “Even though the two men are present they cannot appear because they were not properly brought before the court.”
Defence attorney William Booth said he had accompanied the two men to Mowbray Police Station on Monday.
“They have shown that they are willing to co-operate. There was no improper procedure and at the request of the investigating officer they came to court. The defence made no objection to this,” he said.
Booth also slammed the State for labelling the incident a race attack, saying more investigations and evidence should have been sought before hauling Mack, De Matos and Turner before the court.
Magistrate Ndoyana expressed dismay that the court had been used as a platform for Booth to try to dispel certain merits of the case.
“The initial facts of the case have already been laid bare and most of these aspects mentioned cannot appear on the court record as they do not form part of this matter,” she said.
Ndoyana postponed the case to March 26 for further investigation.