Norman Joseph, Cape Argus (SA), Apr. 27
A foreign diplomat has been attacked and robbed for the second time on a Cape Town beach — and may now lose an eye.
Spanish consul-general Pablo de Jevenois was mugged by three men on Muizenberg beach.
Afterwards the 56-year-old ran three kilometres to his car with his left eye almost hanging out of its socket, before driving home to Constantia.
There, he called the police. He was taken to hospital and underwent a two-hour operation on his eye during a three-day stay.
Police said he would be readmitted next week and had been warned he might lose the eye.
De Jevenois, who has been based in Cape Town for two years, says he has already forgiven his attackers.
The envoy has helped Captain Roy Mathee of Muizenberg police to compile an identikit of one of the three attackers, who is believed to be a 17-year-old.
He was one of three muggers who surrounded De Jevenois, then began beating and kicking him as he sat on the beach at about 2pm on Sunday April 18, before taking his wallet.
As they ran away they threw the wallet on the beach but took his credit cards.
De Jevenois said he had realised blood was streaming down his face, and he could not see out of his left eye: “Part of my left eye and clots of blood came out as I held my hand over it.
“A fisherman picked up my wallet and handed it to me. I ran the three-odd kilometres to my car and drove to my Constantia home from where I called the police.”
De Jevenois was hospitalised at Constantiaberg Medi-Clinic and was then transferred to a Newlands eye clinic, where his cornea was stitched during an operation.
Last November, De Jevenois was attacked by three men after walking away from a craft market along the beach in Hout Bay.
The trio got away with a credit card, “but they did not hurt me”, he said, adding that he would not walk alone on a Cape Town beach again.
“One must not be in fear, but alert. A few years ago while in Spain, I heard about the crime in South Africa, but Cape Town was fine.
“Now it seems that Cape Town is getting worse. It’s a pity because the city’s beaches are beautiful.”
In spite of his condition, he introduced a Spanish flamenco band at a function in Mowbray at the weekend.
Speaking about the mugging, he told the audience: “I was a lonely stroller at the wrong time in the wrong place.
“My eye is blown out, my body is hurt, but I want to heal my soul. From here I forgive them.
“I understand their plight, the misery and the lack of opportunity …”