Cape Town - Police are investigating an additional case of assault against three men – one a UCT student – charged with the attempted murder of Claremont cleaner Delia Adonis, who was beaten and racially assaulted in front of her teenage son.
As Aaron Mack, 20, Chad De Matos, 19, and Mitchell Turner, 20, prepare for their second appearance in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, two others being sought are believed to be in East London.
In another race-related case in the same court on Friday, Kenilworth swimming school owner and well-known cyclist Tim Osrin will appear on charges of assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm after domestic worker Cynthia Joni was attacked on October 2.
There have been a number of developments in the Adonis case since the suspects’ first appearance on Tuesday:
* Police have confirmed that they are investigating another case of assault against the men on the same night that Adonis, 52, was attacked at the Stadium on Main mall. Adonis had intervened by alerting law enforcement officers to the assault.
* Early on Wednesday, police arrested a 27-year-old Claremont police constable in the Detective Unit, from Eerste River. He will appear on two charges of suppressing evidence in the Adonis case, of corruption and defeating the ends of justice.
* The family of the man who Adonis helped has hailed her a heroine.
The court heard on Tuesday that Adonis, a Manenberg mother-of-six, witnessed five men leave Tiger Tiger nightclub inside the shopping centre and beat up another patron on October 17 outside in Main Road. After helping the victim, Duncan Hendry, 21, by alerting law enforcement officers, Adonis was attacked, allegedly by the same five men who allegedly assaulted Hendry.
Adonis told police she was punched in her stomach and kicked all over her body, head and face as well as being racially abused. Mack, from
Knysna, De Matos and Turner, both from East London, have been charged with attempted murder, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and crimen injuria.
De Matos is a UCT student, and Turner and Mack told the court they are part-time workers at a butchery in Kenilworth, where the three also have temporary residence.
Two other men linked to the assault are believed to have returned to their homes in East London and are being sought by police.
Police are investigating whether the same five attacked Hendry on October 17.
Hendry declined to speak to the Cape Times on Wednesday, but his brother Warwick, 28, said: “My brother was saved by Delia Adonis after he was attacked, knocked to the ground and kicked and punched repeatedly in the face – after he stepped in to defend a friend of his incidentally.
“She might well have saved his life. I think this act of courage and compassion needs to be highlighted. This was a positive and compassionate act. She did what few people seem willing to do these days – she stuck her neck out for a complete stranger. I would like to thank her.”
Police spokesman Frederick van Wyk said of the assault on Hendry: “A case of assault was registered for investigation at Claremont police station. Investigation into the matter is continuing.”
About the Claremont police detective who was arrested for defeating the ends of justice and corruption, Van Wyk said yesterday: “In our ongoing endeavours to root out corruption within SAPS, a member from Claremont police station’s Detective Unit was arrested this morning.
“Emanating from a Claremont assault case where a cleaner was allegedly severely assaulted and the case subsequently withdrawn by the senior public prosecutor due to a statement furnished by the constable, who was responsible for the investigation. The member allegedly submitted a sworn statement to withdraw the case when the victim had no intention of doing so.
“The member received an undisclosed amount of cash from the suspects to cover the victim’s medical costs, but allegedly never handed the money to the victim.”