Fri, 24 May 2019

Suicide shocker for family of Dros rape accused

News24
16 Feb 2019, 06:37 GMT+10

A 40-year-old man linked to the man accused of raping a 7-year-old girl in the bathroom of a Dros restaurant in Pretoria, has killed himself.

It is believed that the man was the boyfriend of the accused's mother and that he killed himself on Wednesday.

Police spokesperson Captain Coba Brits said the man hanged himself at the home which he shared with the accused's mother.

Brits said police opened an inquest docket at the Silverton police station.

Neighbours at the complex where he was living told Netwerk24 that they were afraid that he would "make trouble" and that he would often shout and scream.

He was arrested in January for attacking the complex's gardener and was out on bail when he killed himself.

Last week, the Pretoria Magistrate's Court declared the alleged rapist fit to stand trial, after he spent a month in Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital, undergoing observation.

The accused, who cannot be named until he has pleaded to the charges, was evaluated by a team of four experts, including psychiatrists and a clinical psychologist, in terms of a 2018 court order.

Alleged Dros rapist declared fit to stand trial

The evaluation also determined the mental capacity of the accused and whether he could be held accountable.

During a previous court appearance, defence lawyer Riaan du Plessis told the court that there was a need to explore the mental state of his client at the time of the alleged incident.

He added that the accused had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2013, and had been using drugs since he was 14 years old.

It was put on record that the accused previously underwent rehabilitation for substance abuse.

"He also tried to commit suicide because of the severe depression of having bipolar," said Du Plessis.

Previously, News24 revealed that the substance found on the accused at the time of his arrest had tested positive for CAT, and the charge sheet was changed to reflect this.

The accused is expected to appear in court again on March 5.

*News24 has taken a decision to not identify the accused until he has pleaded in court as stipulated in the Criminal Procedure Act. According to Section 154(2b) of the Criminal Procedure Act: No person shall at any stage before the appearance of an accused in a court upon any charge referred to in Section 153(3) or at any stage after such appearance but before the accused has pleaded to the charge, publish in any manner whatever any information relating to the charge in question. Section 153(3) refers to criminal proceedings related to sexual offences charges. Once the accused has pleaded to the charges, News24 will reveal his identity in accordance with the law.

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