Dros rape accused fit to stand trial
The man accused of raping a seven-year-old girl in a Dros restaurant in Pretoria is fit to stand trial.
That is what the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court ruled during the suspect’s brief appearance on Friday.
The man was admitted to Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital in Pretoria, where he was evaluated by three psychologists and a psychiatrist.
The matter has been postponed to March 5 2019, when he will appear in the Pretoria High Court.
Legal Aid attorney Riaan du Plessis, on behalf of the suspect, told the court in November 2018 that there was a history of mental illness in the accused’s family‚ that he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in January 2013 and that he had undergone treatment for substance abuse as a teenager.
Du Plessis said a psychiatrist had advised him that the accused had harmed himself.
“My instructions are that they were indeed suicide attempts from the accused because of severe depression,” he said.
The court had ordered that the suspect be mentally evaluated for 30 days.
He cannot be named until he has pleaded. He has been in custody since September last year, when the incident allegedly happened.