Mark Zinde suffers from schizophrenia, court hears

2017-01-25 16:29
Mark Warona Zinde, son of Hope Zinde, appears in the Brits Regional Court (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

Mark Warona Zinde, son of Hope Zinde, appears in the Brits Regional Court (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

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Brits – The son of murdered television personality Hope Zinde suffers from schizophrenia, a severe long-term mental health condition, the Brits Regional Court heard on Wednesday.

Dressed in blue, oversized tracksuit pants and a blue Dodgers T-shirt, Mark Warona Zinde, 23, sat in the dock with his head down.

His lawyer, Francois Joubert, asked the court that Zinde be re-admitted to the Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital in Pretoria.

Joubert said Zinde was sent to Weskoppies in June for assessments and a report was finalised, however, Zinde had disputed certain aspects of the report.

In order to dispute this report, the defence appointed Dr John Weinkove, a psychiatrist, to make his findings and assessments on Zinde's mental state.

He said Dr Weinkove found that his assessment differed to that of Dr Coetzee at Weskoppies.

READ: Hope Zinde's family let down by slow pace of son's murder case

'Review of condition'

Joubert read the statement from Dr Weinkove's findings to the court.

"I believe Zinde suffers from schizophrenia with predominantly negative features. I recommend that he should be re-admitted to Weskoppies for a review of his condition," the statement read.

According to Dr Weinkove's statement, Zinde stopped functioning socially about four years ago. This suggested the onset of his mental illness.

"In view of his loss of social and academic functioning, I recommend that he have further investigation in the form of a computed tomography (CAT scan) of the brain and an electroencephalogram (EEG), preferably over 24 hours," the statement read.

In Weinkove's statement, he said there appeared to be a history of similar illness in his father's family. His mother was described as having mood swings – this history could point to susceptibility to schizophrenia.

Zinde was arrested in June 2016 after his 50-year-old mother's body was found in the boot of her Range Rover at her home in Pecanwood Estate, Hartbeespoort.

At the time, it was reported that a friend had struggled to get hold of her for a few days and that her son had refused to open the door. He only opened it when police arrived.

Fit to stand trial

State prosecutor Hanna Conradie argued that four other psychiatrists had already evaluated Zinde at Weskoppies.

"All four found that the accused (Zinde) has a criminal capacity and that he can distinguish between right and wrong. He can also follow court proceedings," Conradie said.

Conradie said all four doctors that observed Zinde over a period of three to four weeks, could have decided on the CAT and EEG scans, however, all elected not to do so.

"It is my submission that it is not in the interest of justice for the accused (Zinde) to be referred back to Weskoppies. Four doctors already made findings regarding his criminal capacity," Conradie said.

Magistrate Lourens Matthee said Zinde was fit to stand trial, therefore he did not grant the request for Zinde to be re-admitted to Weskoppies.

The matter was postponed to February 21.

Read more on:    hope zinde  |  brits  |  crime

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