Acid victim was stalked for weeks by ex
Police haven’t been taking her case seriously, she says
IT SEEMED like a typical case of criminal stalking to Ines Antonio, 22. However, the SAPS was apparently not equipped to deal with the crime.
Antonio is the young woman who had acid thrown on her face and body on November 3 by a boyfriend who had allegedly been stalking her for weeks.
It took the police two weeks to take a statement from her, and they said it was because she could not speak after the violent attack.
However, Antonio’s employer has denied this, saying she was capable of making a statement a day later, and despite telling policemen that she could have done so, she was ignored.
She also spoke to The Star two weeks after the attack before police had interviewed her.
Her Benoni boyfriend ran away immediately after the attack, but had allegedly sent her more than 50 SMSes over the past few weeks, threatening to finish off the job.
Antonio said from her hospital bed she had met the attacker when she was 17. “He was gardening on a property, and my friends and I were lost. He gave us directions and we became friends,” she said.
“After two months, I realised it was not right. He started being abusive – physically and emotionally – so I broke it off. Then I realised I was pregnant. “He said he didn’t want the baby and tried to make me have an abortion, which I refused, so I broke off all contact.”
After that, she had little contact with him except for the few times he wanted to see his daughter.
In recent weeks Antonio and a male friend grew closer. Her ex heard about this and started stalking her.
“He came to my home and school and would sit for hours outside waiting for me. Everyone noticed.
“I was shocked because we had little contact all these years. I didn’t ask anything from him. I have been providing for my own child, working and studying part-time.”
He didn’t pay maintenance. There was no fighting between them, so the attack was a complete shock, she said.
She burst into tears, saying her life was over unless police arrested him.
The suspect, a 28-year-old Benoni resident, continues sending SMSes threatening to finish off the job of killing Antonio and her male companion, swearing at her, calling her by the k-word, and saying that he had changed and that if he could not have her, no one else would. He said he loved her and wanted her back.
In rambling SMSes, he accused Antonio of being a whore, saying the child was not his.
He has started harassing her family in Mozambique and making accusations against her.
He constantly threatens to take legal custody of her daughter. There are numerous and continued abusive threats about killing her.
Her daughter is being cared for by a landlady, who is also a teacher.
“At least I know she is safe as I have been living there for many years,” said Antonio, who will undergo skin grafts tomorrow.
Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital declined to comment and refused The Star access to Antonio despite her request to be interviewed in an attempt to get information to assist police to arrest the suspect.
The Star was instructed to get Antonio to ask for written permission for such a request. The Star obtained photos from Antonio’s employer to help the police with their investigations for publication purposes.
TRAUMATISED: Ines Antonio’s body is covered in bandages after her ex threw acid on her.
WANTED: Ines Antonio’s ex is sought by police. She still receives threatening SMSes from him.