Spanish dentist in SA told ex-wife he killed their twins, court hears

Cape Town – A Spanish dentist called his ex-wife to a rented holiday home in Hout Bay, told her he had killed their 3-year-old twins and then threatened to kill her, the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court heard on Wednesday.

This version of events was presented by prosecutor Benito Adonis.

Mario-César Deus Yela, 48, did not appear in court on Monday because he was in hospital being treated for wounds to his abdomen, following the attack on the twins on Thursday.

The tall, skinny, unkempt Yela, dressed in jeans and a blue and white top, slowly made his way up from the holding cell.

He seemed dazed and his shoulder-length brown hair looked unbrushed.

Adonis said he faced two counts of murder and a count of theft of a motor vehicle.

Lunch invitation

Yela had rented the holiday home for three weeks to visit his 7-year-old son and twins Maximo and Octavia. He had apparently been due to fly back to Spain on Thursday night.

That day, he sent a message to his ex-wife, Julia Engelhorn, asking her to come over for lunch, said Adonis.

He said that when she arrived, he told her he had killed the twins.

“She got up, went into the bedroom and discovered the twins. The third child was still at school. He had a knife in his possession. He then threatened to kill her.”

She apparently jumped up, managed to escape and tried to alert a security official at the estate.

She also contacted her son’s school to alert them that Yela should not be allowed to pick their son up.

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Yela was arrested on the M3.

‘Delicate’ emotional state

Defence lawyer William Booth said his client had no previous convictions, outstanding warrants or pending cases.

He added that Yela had serious injuries to his stomach, along with blood in his urine, two kidney stones, high blood pressure, dizziness and suffered bouts of vomiting.

Two psychiatrists had also briefly evaluated him and were writing up a preliminary assessment.

“He is in a very delicate state emotionally and it is something that has to be monitored,” Booth said.

Adonis said the wounds were superficial and self-inflicted, according to a doctor’s letter handed into court on Wednesday

The court postponed the matter for a week so the State could obtain bail information.

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