Case against Dros rape accused postponed as bed still not available at Weskoppies

2018-11-28 11:03
The Dros rape accused appears in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court (Photographer: Alex Mitchley)

The Dros rape accused appears in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court (Photographer: Alex Mitchley)

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The man accused of raping a 7-year-old girl in the bathroom of a Dros restaurant in Pretoria was tearful in the dock of the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Wednesday as he was told that a bed at Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital was still not available.

As a result, he cannot be submitted to the institution for mental observation and the case was postponed to next year.

The accused, wearing a grey hoodie, could be seen sobbing and wiping tears from his eyes as he stood in the dock with his head down but still following the court proceedings.

Still waiting for a bed

State advocate Sanet Jacobson told the court on Wednesday that the accused was Number 14 on the waiting list for a bed and asked that the case be postponed to January 15, 2019.

"As soon as a bed becomes available, we will requisition the accused and he will then be referred," Jacobson added.

The court also heard that the accused would be referred to a district surgeon on Wednesday. 

Magistrate Ignatius du Preez explained that, despite the postponement, if a bed became available before then, he would be referred.

Referred for mental observation

During a previous court appearance on November 1, the court granted an application by the State and defence to have the 20-year-old accused referred for mental observation.

OVERVIEW: Magistrate grants application to send Dros rape accused for mental observation

The court also granted an application by the defence to appoint an additional psychiatrist and clinical psychologist, making up a team of four experts who will observe the accused while he is in Weskoppies, which is a state psychiatric institution. 

Defence lawyer Riaan du Plessis told the court that there was a need to explore the mental state the accused had at the time of the incident. 

He added that the accused had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2013 and has been using drugs since he was 14 years old. 

It was put on record that the accused previously underwent rehabilitation for substance abuse. 

"He also tried to commit suicide because of the severe depression of having bipolar," said Du Plessis. 

Read: Dros rape accused claims police, public assaulted him

Jacobson told the court that it was in the interests of justice that the accused be referred to Weskoppies.

"[His] criminal capacity might be a relevant issue to pursue because a substance was found on him," said Jacobson. 

Outstanding toxicology report

The court also heard that the DNA evidence had been received but that the State was still waiting for an outstanding toxicology report.

News24 previously reported that the accused was at the restaurant where he allegedly followed the 7-year-old child to a bathroom and raped her.

A video, taken moments after the alleged incident, showed a man covered in blood and angry patrons berating him.

The accused has not yet brought an application for his release on bail, nor has he pleaded to the charges.

*News24 has taken a decision not to identify the accused until he has pleaded in court as stipulated in the Criminal Procedure Act.

According to Section 154(2b) of the Criminal Procedure Act: No person shall at any stage before the appearance of an accused in a court upon any charge referred to in Section 153(3) or at any stage after such appearance but before the accused has pleaded to the charge, publish in any manner whatever any information relating to the charge in question.

Section 153(3) refers to criminal proceedings related to sexual offences charges.

Once the accused has pleaded to the charges, News24 will reveal his identity in accordance with the law.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  rape
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