Accused sent for evaluation

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FOLLOWING the rape of a young girl, a 60-year-old madala has been referred for psychiatric evaluation.

The madala appeared in the Tsheseng Magistrates Court in QwaQwa, Free State on Monday, 9 May and it was found that his behaviour was strange.

The 11-year-old girl said she was raped on 5 May while she was returning from a tuck shop to buy cold drink after being sent by her gogo.

Preliminary investigations found that the madala took the victim to a dilapidated house and raped her.

During his court appearance, many started suspecting the accused might be suffering from a psychiatric disorder.

Free State NPA spokesman Phaladi Shuping said the court usually requested that an accused person be referred for a mental assessment if it was suspected that they did not understand questions posed to them.

“It can also be if there is a history of mental problems, where a person is taking medication for a certain mental condition,” he said.

“An accused person is declared a state patient and sent to a psychiatric hospital if the psychiatrist concludes that he has a mental problem and, therefore, he cannot be held criminally liable.”

Shuping said a mental assessment was usually done for one day and if a psychiatrist felt there was a need for further assessment, a person would be sent for 30 days.

“We have had several cases of accused people being sent for mental assessment before,” said Shuping.

“Some were declared fit to stand trial and the cases had to proceed. There are those who were found to have mental problems and were, therefore, declared criminally insane.

“They were declared state patients and sent to psychiatric hospitals.

“It’s too early to tell. We must wait for a report and only then that we will know what will happen.”

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