Cause of twins’ death withheld

REMANDED TO POLLSMOOR: Accused Mario Yela

There is still no official confirmation on how three-year-old twins Octavia and Maximo Yela died.

The twins were allegedly killed by their father, Barcelona dentist Mario-Cesar Deus Yela, 48, at the Princess Beach complex in Princess Street, Hout Bay, on Thursday April 6.

According to reports, in Mr Yela’s first appearance at the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court last week, state prosecutor Benito Adonis alleged he had sent ex-wife and the twins’ mother, Julia Engelhorn, a text message inviting her to join him for lunch and then told her he had killed the children.

It was also alleged that when Ms Engelhorn arrived at the house, he had a knife in his hand.

This week, the Sentinel asked police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel André Traut whether the post-mortem on the twins had been completed.

“The results of the post-mortem are known, but because it was conducted by the (provincial) health department, you will need to ask them for the results,” he said.

However, health department spokesperson Darren Francis said the department did not communicate post-mortem findings to the media.

“We will only divulge the findings of the post-mortem to the investigating officer and immediate family”.

Attorney and spokesperson for Ms Engelhorn, Juan Smuts, said he had assisted the prosecutor in opposing the court’s application to detain Mr Yela at Victoria Hospital in Wynberg where he was being treated for injuries.

There was speculation he had attempted suicide.

“However the defence’s application was dismissed and the accused had been transferred to Pollsmoor Prison’s medical facility.”

Mr Smuts added that Ms Engelhorn had family in South Africa who were supporting her during this “most trying time”.

The children had visited their father in Spain from December to January, and he was spending three weeks with them in South Africa over the Easter holidays.

Mr Smuts said Mr Yela had been scheduled to return to Spain on a British Airways flight at 6pm on the day of the murder.