Defence advocate believes one evaluation is not sufficient
CHILD rape accused Moses Monnapule will be sent for a follow-up psychiatric evaluation following his complaints of physical and psychological ailments, which prevented the case from continuing in the Northern Cape High Court this week.
Monnapule is accused of luring two young girls, who were aged six and eight at the time of the incident in June 2015, from their homes and keeping them overnight inside his shanty where he allegedly raped them.
Monnapule was sent to hospital for medical treatment on Monday, Wednesday and yesterday, as he had stated that he was not feeling well, had collapsed in the dock and also complained that he was depressed.
The legal representative for the accused, Advocate Dirk van Tonder, stated that his client was seen by a psychiatrist yesterday.
“He appeared normal and shortly thereafter the accused had a very emotional outburst. The doctors were not able to make a sufficient diagnosis, based on a single observation. The defence has no other option but to request that the accused be sent for psychiatric observation to determine if he is fit to stand trial,” said Van Tonder.
Senior state advocate Catherine Jansen pointed out that the accused had previously been sent for a psychiatric evaluation, after he had claimed that he was hearing voices, that he was bewitched and that he was unable to remember any details surrounding the alleged offence.
“His symptoms of depression were not evaluated nor was it the basis of the referral prior to today. Severe depression can have an influence on the ability of the accused to stand trial. These are new grounds to refer the accused for psychiatric observation.”
She said that the previous panel that had conducted the psychiatric observation to determine Monnapule’s fitness to stand trial, could do the reassessment.
“Dr Zygmunt Piotrowski is due for his annual leave, which he will take during September,” Jansen added. She also indicated that arrangements had to be made for a second psychiatrist, who was serving on the panel, to establish his availability as he was stationed in Bloemfontein, as well as for funding.
She requested that the matter be postponed until October 10 to determine the availability of both panel members to do the reassessment.
“The accused will remain in custody.”