Accused’s ‘emotional storm’ led to stabbing

2010-05-27 00:00

A SPECIALIST psychiatrist has testified in the high court that Newcastle murder accused Yousuf Randeree (28) underwent a “severe emotional storm” during an incident in which he allegedly stabbed drug dealer Simphiwe Mlotshwa 20 times on March 19, 2007.

Dr Rousslan Ivanov Savov, who studied in Bulgaria, said in a report presented to Judge Achmat Jappie and assessors yesterday that he believed Yousuf Randaree was suffering from “temporary non-pathological incapacity” during the commission of the offence.

Immediately afterwards, he suffered from a condition triggered by severe stress, known as “psychogenic amnesia” as a result of which he was unable to recall details of the incident.

The cause, he believes, was “overwhelming feelings of despair, frustration, helplessness and pain” together with biological factors, said Savov.

Savov told the court that Yousuf’s brother, Saeed (26), who was addicted to crack cocaine, suffered from a psychotic disorder as a complication of his dependence on the drug at the time of the incident, and was suffering from severe withdrawal syndrome as a result of not having taken drugs on the day in question. He has only “snapshot” memories of the events.

“The above mental state profoundly affects his [Saeed’s] mental capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions and to act accordingly,” stated Savov.

According to Savov’s report, Yousuf Randeree — a member of a “conservative” Muslim family who had an immense sense of responsibility and duty towards his brothers — became very concerned when he “saw his brother disintegrate” and realised that he was addicted to crack cocaine.

“To the accused, his brother’s cocaine addiction was equal to self-destruction and to continue his drug taking would be a death sentence — he was deeply affected by the rude and dispassionate behaviour of the deceased,” he said, referring to Mlotshwa’s alleged refusal to stop contacting Saeed Randeree.

“This culminated in feelings of rage and emotional storm after being attacked by the deceased, and he cannot remember exactly how he ended up not only defending himself but stabbing the deceased.”

According to Savov’s report, Yousuf Randeree suffered a severe head injury when he was seven years old and lost consciousness for about 10 minutes. He said it was noteworthy that people who have suffered loss of consciousness are “more prone to such extremely aggressive and inexplicable” reactions.

Another defence witness to testify yesterday was specialist forensic pathologist Dr Reggie Perumal, who told the court he believed the deep cut Yousuf Randere suffered on the palm of his hand during his struggle with Mlotshwa was typical of a “defensive” injury.

Perumal said that in his view it was unlikely the injury was caused by Randeree’s hand having slipped on the bloody knife while he was holding it by the handle and stabbing the victim, and his hand must have closed around the blade of the knife.

The case has been postponed until October 4.

The state alleges that the three Randeree brothers, Basheer, Saeed and Yousuf, formed a common purpose to kill Mlotshwa after finding out that he had supplied Saeed with drugs, arranged to meet him, armed themselves with a baton, a wooden pole and a knife and attacked and killed him.

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