Murder accused in dock
Donile’s evidence contradicts witness’s
The case of Tonny Donile, who is accused of murdering local businessman Noel Maddocks in August 2016, continued in the Port Alfred Regional Court on Monday and Tuesday, while the Maddocks family and friends had to endure another version of what happened on that fateful night.
Donile has been charged with two counts of murder, the first relating to the death of an alleged robber at Donile’s tavern in Runeli Drive in Nemato in 2010, along with the Maddocks murder.
On Tuesday a blood splatter expert was re-called to the stand to give testimony regarding the blood found at the scene.
However, because of the many unknown variables, he said there was no way of precisely pinpointing the events of that night from the evidence provided.
As the case continued into Tuesday the prosecution, led by attorney Johan Carstens, completed presenting its evidence and it was then the turn of defence advocate Mark Botha to call Donile to the stand.
Describing the scene at the first murder, Donile explained in detail what had occurred and said he had exchanged blows after confronting the victim, and that he had not been detained by police at the time who, he told the court, had said that the victim was a known robber in the area.
As for the Maddocks case, Donile’s version of events contradicted the testimony heard from his former girlfriend, Pia Roser, the only other witness on that night.
Donile said he and Roser were still in a relationship at the time and that he was still living at the Alfred Road home, contradicting Roser’s testimony. He said he had left his tavern after midnight and, after making his rounds, went home with his friend, a Stemela, who lived in the rondavel on the same property.
On attempting to enter the kitchen door to the house he found it was blocked, which he believed at the time might have been a dog lying behind it. He said he had put his hand around the partially open door and, at that point, had felt a “pinch” on his left hand which he later realised was a stab wound. He said he called out his name and a male voice, later identified as Maddocks, had told him to, “F**k off”.
After a short exchange of insults Donile said he had managed to get the door open and then saw a “naked white man” brandishing a knife that he was passing from hand to hand in a threatening manner. He said he had believed this stranger might be the boyfriend of a housemate, Tessa, who was, at that time, taking a break with friends at Riet River.
“I asked him, ‘why stab me?’ I live here’,” said Donile, adding that this was when the scuffle began and he demanded to know who his attacker was.
“I’m your f**king nightmare,” Maddocks allegedly told him. Donile said that he then grabbed the knife by the blade with his right hand and managed to turn it around and slash Maddocks just below the chest. As the fighting continued, Donile said he managed to force the knife into Maddocks’ right side and trip him, causing him to fall to the ground. Donile then confessed to tramping on Maddock’s head before leaving him there in the kitchen to find Roser, who he was now concerned about.
He said he found her still in bed and asleep, which he said was unusual as she was a light sleeper.
According to Donile, that was when Maddocks reappeared at the bedroom door and at this point Roser was awake and stood at the end of the bed, afraid at what was happening. Another fight broke out and Roser leapt from the bed, knocking over items on top of a set of drawers. “I’m sorry,” Roser allegedly said by way of an apology to Donile.
Donile then walked through the lounge, and via the kitchen to his friend’s rondavel where he wrapped his bleeding hand in a cloth and headed off to a nearby police station. On his way there, he said he decided to call a detective friend and meet him at the BP station at the top of Albany Road. That was when he waved down a police van he had erroneously assumed was his friend coming to collect him, and he was arrested.
When asked why he had told the doctor who had examined him in jail that he had caused the injury to his hand while incarcerated, Donile said that this doctor was lying. When Botha asked him why Roser had testified that they were no longer a couple at the time of the incident Donile replied that she had been lying. When asked how Maddocks had received so many more stab wounds than he had confessed to, Donile said he had no idea.
In order to examine the testimony and transcripts, magistrate Louis Muller postponed the case until September 18 when testimony will resume.