FRIENDS, family and women abuse groups reacted in shock yesterday to the release – on R400 bail – of “donkey rage” accused Xolisa Ntantiso.
Ntantiso, 26, is accused of beating Greenshields Park resident Lorna Poulter, 50, with a wheel spanner – not a car anti-theft device as previously reported – after an alleged altercation over an overloaded donkey cart on Main Road, Walmer, two weeks ago.
She was found in a pool of blood, slipping in and out of consciousness.
Poulter started showing signs of recovery last weekend and by yesterday she had been moved from the intensive care unit to the high care unit at Greenacres Hospital.
Ntantiso was charged with attempted murder.
Poulter’s elderly and frail father Trevor Poulter, 81, said yesterday he was shocked by Port Elizabeth Magistrate Gavin Juicey’s decision to grant Ntantiso bail. Trevor, who recently suffered a massive heart attack, was not able to attend court.
“You cannot just be accused of something like this and get away with R400 bail. No matter what Lorna might have done, you cannot attack someone like this and get away with it. It’s ridiculous,” he said.
Lindsay Ziehl, a senior supervisor at the Yokhuselo Haven for battered and abused women and children, said Ntantiso did not deserve to be out on bail.
“It’s shocking and disgusting that anybody who is up for attempted murder be granted a meagre R400 bail. The victim was beaten into a state of being comatose. What guarantee do we have that this man will not do it again? It’s horrendous,” Ziehl said.
Colleagues who worked with Poulter, an animal lover, at Game in Greenacres also attended the hearing.
Poulter was attacked at about 10pm on April 3 after she had stopped alongside the road to confront two men driving an overloaded donkey cart.
The state alleges that during this confrontation a third man, Ntantiso, pulled up and a heated argument ensued.
“In the process, he [Ntantiso] was slapped once in the face,” prosecutor Chrisna Fillis said.
“He then proceeded to his vehicle to fetch a wheel spanner which he used to assault the victim.This is corroborated by two witnesses.
“This is the reason bail is not opposed.”
Despite The Herald earlier being unable to find Ntantiso at either one of the two addresses on his charge sheet, investigating officer Warrant-Officer Antoinette Erasmus said Ntantiso – who made a living transporting workers to and from the Walmer Park Shopping Centre – had lived in Walmer with his parents for 22 years.
He had no outstanding cases or warrants against him. However, he was convicted last year of a traffic offence involving overloading and fined R2300.
Juicey said that as part of his bail conditions, Ntantiso would be placed under 24-hour house arrest and would have to report to the Walmer police station twice a week – on Mondays and Fridays.
The matter resumes in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court on June 4.