Further mental assessments requested for ‘schizophrenic’

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Roland Routh

Windhoek-State Advocate Ethel Ndlovu on Tuesday asked High Court Judge Nate Ndauendapo to refer murder and multiple rape accused, Johannes Lukuwa Hausiku, for further metal examinations after psychiatrist Dr Reinhardt Sieberhagen found he was able to appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions when he committed the deeds.

Sieberhagen made his deductions after Hausiku was sent for a second round of mental observations on the request of the prosecutor general who disputed the findings of a state psychiatrist that Hausiku suffers from schizophrenia and is thus not fit to stand trial.

Doctor Hileni Ndjaba diagnosed Hausiku with schizophrenia comorbid with substance use disorders in November 2016 and hence declared him unfit to stand trial.

At that time, Dr Ndjaba said: “The accused is not fit to stand trial. He is incapable of understanding the court proceedings so as to make proper defence. At the time of the commission of the crime, in terms of Section 78 of the Criminal Procedure Act he was mentally ill, which makes him incapable of appreciating the wrongfulness of his act.”
But Sieberhagen disagreed, saying that Hausiku was able to appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions during the commission of the crimes.

However, this was only with regard to the time of the deeds and Ndlovu thus asked the court to refer Hausiku back to Sieberhagen to determine whether he is able to understand court proceedings and mount a proper defence against the charges he faces.

She also asked that he be re-examined by a different state psychiatrist.
Hausiku is standing trial on 15 charges emanating from three incidents which took place at Outjo during the first half of 2012.

He faces one count of murder, two counts of kidnapping, two counts of attempted rape, one count of defeating or obstructing or attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice, one count of robbery and eight counts of rape.

He has denied guilt on all of the charges. According to Ndlovu, Hausiku was able to mount a defence when he testified during a trial within a trial dealing with certain admissions, and he can still mount a proper defence with the guidance of his state-funded legal counsel. Hipura Ujaha took over the case after the former legal counsel withdrew for being “unable to consult and draw up a proper defence”.

At the time, Mbanga Siyomunji who acted on behalf of Hausiku, lodged an application to have Hausiku observed mentally, but the application was dismissed causing him to withdraw as he could not “with a clear conscience continue to defend Hausiku who is chopping and changing his instructions at will”.

When Ujaha was appointed, he immediately applied to the court for Hausiku to be sent for mental observation, as he was unable to consult and was receiving conflicting instructions. Judge Ndauendapo consented and Hausiku underwent psychiatric observation at the Windhoek Psychiatric Unit from October 17, 2016 to November 14, 2016 and was subsequently declared unfit to stand trial.

During the period under observation, Hausiku told the psychiatrists he was angry because his girlfriend/wife (the mother of the murdered child) was having an affair with another man. According to what he reportedly said, they both came from Kavango to Outjo as a couple and had two children, one being the deceased.

He was aiming to stab the woman but ended up stabbing the boy, because she held him as a shield and he took him to
the hospital thereafter and had no recollection of the body being cut and thrown away.
Judge Ndauendapo postponed the matter to March 13 for the next round of mental observations to be carried out.

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