Judgment expected in axe murder case

2014-09-23 05:57
Joseph Ntshongwana. (Photo: Dries Liebenberg)

Joseph Ntshongwana. (Photo: Dries Liebenberg)

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Johannesburg - Judgment is expected on Tuesday in the trial of former Blue Bulls rugby player Joseph Phindile Ntshongwana, accused of killing four people with an axe.

Ntshongwana's lawyer, Themba Mjoli, argued on Monday that at the time the crime was committed, his client suffered from a mental illness and had no control over his actions.

As such he should not be treated as a criminal, but as someone with a mental illness. It could not be conclusively proven that he had the intention to commit the offences, Mjoli said.

Prosecutor Rea Mina argued that Ntshongwana might have had a mental illness, but it did not prevent him from knowing what he was doing was wrong.

Ntshongwana was diagnosed with mental health problems in 2009, with three hospitals having diagnosed him as having schizoaffective disorder of the bipolar type. Psychiatrists who gave evidence for the State concurred.

Defence witness Professor Aboobaker Ebrahim Gangat disagreed, testifying instead that Ntshongwana was suffering from a delusional disorder.

Ntshongwana has pleaded not guilty to murdering Thembelenkosini Cebekhulu on 20 March 2011, Paulos Hlongwa two days later, Simon Ngidi the next day, and an unidentified man some time that week.

He has also denied guilt on two counts of attempted murder, one of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, and of kidnapping and raping a woman.

Read more on:    joseph ntshongwana  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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