Mental fitness dilemma drags on into 11th month
The state was hoping the inquiry would be pushed forward to two weeks’ time but Mdantsane regional magistrate Twanet Olivier said: “November 27 is a bit long for someone who is ill.”
Last week another magistrate, Joel Cesar, ordered that the inquiry be held without delay as the accused had already been in custody for 11 months without a trial date.
Olivier yesterday reminded the state that all necessary documentation needed for the inquiry was attached to the docket.
The magistrate said the only thing outstanding was a date for a hospital bed at the Fort England psychiatric hospital where Nyovane, 27, was to be referred as a state patient.
He is expected to remain in the hospital section of the West Bank maximum prison until the bed is available.
Nyovane, who was declared unfit to stand trial by a state psychiatrist last Wednesday, appeared in the Mdantsane Magistrate’s Court yesterday in the same clothes.
The psychiatrist found that Nyovane was “incapable of following court proceedings”.
However, the director of public prosecutions in Grahamstown has decided that a regional court should conduct its own inquiry into his mental state before making a final decision.
Two of his family members also attended the proceedings but did not speak to him in the courtroom.
Throughout the hearing Nyovane looked on impassively from the dock.
He has been in custody since December after he allegedly put a five-year-old boy into coma by smashing his head against a tar road.
Nyovane was arrested three days after Christmas after he allegedly walked up to Lathitha Makeleni and grabbed him around the throat before lifting the youngster off the ground and slamming him head-first into the road in NU3.
Lathitha was playing in a street outside his home with friends.
The attack left Lathitha in a coma for a month. He never fully recovered. —