THERE was sadness and anger at the Port Alfred Magistrate’s Court last Friday, when friends and family of slain businessman Noel Maddocks gathered for the first appearance of his alleged killer, tavern owner Tonny(correct) Lucias Donile.
Maddocks, the owner of IT Solutions Coastal, was stabbed to death in the early hours of August 10, in an alleged confrontation with Donile at the Alfred Road residence of Donile’s ex-girlfriend. Donile allegedly smashed the door down to gain entry. The ex-girlfriend fled to the police station.
Donile was arrested on the outskirts of town.
Dozens of Maddocks’ friends in the surfing and business community waited for hours at the court to be able to see his alleged killer, and at one point held up posters calling for the death penalty to be brought back, or for life imprisonment.
The courtroom was filled to capacity, and those who could not find seats stood against the walls and in the doorway.
Donile initially covered his face when he entered the court, but then stood stone-faced in the dock and ignored journalists and a police photographer who took pictures of him in court.
One of Maddocks’ friends shouted out, “Hey you asshole, why don’t you turn around,” and was rebuked by one of Donile’s supporters. “You can’t call someone an asshole in court,” the man retorted.
Court orderlies removed Maddocks’ friend for his outburst.
Prosecutor Johan Carstens asked magistrate Pieter Koopman for a provisional date, “not for a bail application, but just to set a bail application date”. Donile remained in custody and will appear again today (Thursday).
Carstens said the alleged crime could be a Schedule 5 or 6 offence, and the prosecution still had to establish previous convictions.
Outside the court, a few of Maddocks’ friends shared their grief.
“It’s a tragic waste of a life,” said Lilian Neave. “He was such a nice guy, a real gentle soul.”
Joy Hayes said: “Everyone’s just showing support to the extended family and girlfriend. I think it’s been a nightmare for her. We’ve had such love for Noel and his family. It always seems worse when it happens to such a good person. It makes me want to hold up banners saying bring back the death penalty.”
Maddocks’ brother Justin thanked the community for their “incredible support”.
Justin’s girlfriend, Laura Mileham, added: “That so many people came to the courthouse is testimony of how many people’s lives Noel touched as a businessman, friend, surfer and a true son of Kowie.”