Cop held over cleaner assault ‘cover-up’
Cape Town - A Claremont police officer was arrested on Wednesday morning after he allegedly tried to quash a case against five young men accused of brutally beating a cleaner.
Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk said the constable had received cash from the attackers, one a UCT student, to pay 52-year-old victim Delia Adonis’s medical bills.
But he never handed over the money.
It is alleged that the policeman submitted a sworn statement on behalf of Adonis to withdraw the case against the young men, which was never her intention.
The 27-year-old police officer was arrested at his home in Eerste River.
He is set to appear at the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, facing charges of defeating the ends of justice.
Also on Thursday, three of the men involved in the attack on Adonis will appear in court for their bail application.
On Tuesday, they were remanded to Pollsmoor Prison.
Upon hearing this, they wept openly in court, burying their faces in their hands.
Chad De Matos, 19, Aaron Mack, 20, and Mitchell Turner, 20, were charged with attempted murder and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm. According to the State, De Matos and Turner are from East London and Mack is from Knysna.
The other suspects are said to have since returned to East London. However, police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel André Traut could not confirm this at the time of going to print.
The group of men allegedly attacked Adonis on October 17.
According to newspaper reports, the cleaner was in Claremont when she spotted five young men spill out of the Tiger Tiger nightclub.
The report said the men seemed to wait outside in Main Road where they spotted another patron whom they allegedly attacked.
Adonis reportedly ran to help the victim by calling over local law enforcement officers in the area. Afterwards she went to have a smoke. It was then that the group of young men approached her, dishing out racial slurs as they attacked her, reports said.
It was reported that Adonis could’ve died had her son Tesh-Lee not rushed to her aid.
UCT spokeswoman Gerda Kruger said the university had noted the appearance of one of its students in court.
“The allegations are extremely upsetting and we are working with the SAPS and the National Prosecuting Authority to ensure that the proper process is followed.
“UCT has met with the student and taken his statement. We are actively reviewing all the evidence we are able to gather. For this reason we ask any witnesses to please contact Mr Steven Ganger at UCT’s Campus Protection.”