Murder accused businessman fights against psychiatric evaluation

2017-04-06 11:30
Rameez Patel. (News24)

Rameez Patel. (News24)

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Polokwane - Limpopo businessman Rameez Patel returned to the Limpopo High Court in Thohoyandou on Wednesday to fight against an application to send him for psychiatric evaluation.

Patel, who is accused of killing his wife, is applying for the trial to be postponed, claiming that he suffers from emotional stress.

But the application took a twist on Wednesday when he fought against being sent to a psychiatric hospital.

His lawyer Tumi Mokoena called psychologist Steven Molepo to testify. Molepo confirmed that Patel suffered from emotional stress.

Molepo recommended that Patel undergo further examination, but rejected the State's call for Patel to be committed at Thabamoopo Psychiatric Hospital.

"I want him to reflect and rest then will be seeing him for the period of more than six weeks," said Molepo.

In contrast to Molepo's testimony, Patel on Tuesday told the court that he is able to follow the trial.

State prosecutor Mashudu Mudau argued that if a psychological evaluation is not done according to the law, it could jeopardise the trial.

State's goal is 'incarceration'

"If he is suffering from mental disorder and if he is mentally stressed, then he must be committed to the psychiatric hospital.

"The matter has been simplified by the psychologist and we are in agreement," said Mudau.

However, the State said it was not surprised that the psychologist did not want Patel to be committed to a psychiatric hospital.

Patel is accused of killing his wife Fatima. She was found shot at the couple's apartment in Nirvana, a suburb in Polokwane, in 2016.

The State alleges that Patel killed his wife and then claimed that she was killed during a break-in. 

Mokoena argued that the State's application to have Patel evaluated was a premeditated plan to have his client held in custody.

"The goal is to have the accused incarcerated for whatever reasons they have, and by any means," argued Mokoena.

The hearing continues.

Read more on:    rameez patel  |  polokwane  |  crime

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