Murder suspect mentally unfit

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WINDHOEK – A man accused of rape and murder of an elderly woman in the Swakop River was already declared mentally ill when he was sent for mental observation in a previous case.

Gotlieb Gariseb, who is charged with the rape and murder of 64-year-old Theresia Tsuses in the Swakop River near Otjimbingwe in the Karibib District on January 24, 2012, underwent psychiatric tests from February 9 to March 3 this year in a case of malicious damage to property in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court.

In a report produced by Dr Frederika Mthoko, Gariseb was declared mentally ill and unable to appreciate the wrongfulness of his alleged criminal conduct.

He will now be sent back to the psychiatry department at the Windhoek Central Hospital after his State-funded lawyer, Mbanga Siyomundji, asked the court for a referral.

This came after Gariseb gave irrelevant answers to questions his lawyer asked him.

For instance, when Siyomundji asked Gariseb if he knows why he is in court he answered “the people brought me here, go ask them”, or when he was asked what happened at the river on the day he would answer “the river must know, go ask the river”. After his lawyer asked the court for the referral, Gariseb on his own volition said through his interpreter that he was already sent to the “malkamp” (madhouse) and he was sane.

However, when he was asked to bring the medical report that was compiled, he gave his lawyer the indictment. Gariseb was testifying in his own defense after the State closed its case against him on Thursday last week. He denied any knowledge of the crimes when he pleaded to the charges saying that the river must tell what happened.
He is also charged with attempted rape.

The woman he tried to rape told the court during her evidence-in-chief that he (Gariseb) approached her at her residence in Otjimbingwe on the same day the deceased was killed, telling her that he was going to rape and kill her.
While he was talking to her, she noticed his erect manhood through his trouser zipper, the complainant stated.

She further narrated Gariseb then grabbed her on her throat in an attempt to overpower and rape her, but she prevailed and managed to free herself and escaped. Gariseb then ran away in the direction of the river while she chased him, she said, but lost him.

She stated that while giving chase she saw Gariseb running past the deceased, who was in the company of a young child.

Judge Naomi Shivute postponed the matter to April 24 at 09h00 for Gariseb to be referred to the psychiatric unit.
State Advocate Cliff Litubezi, who represents the State, had no objection to Gariseb being referred for metal observation.

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