Court awaits men­tal re­port

ON TRIAL FOR AL­LEGED MUR­DER OF MOM Psy­chi­a­trist’s let­ter to mother in­di­cated re­lapse into psy­chotic de­pres­sion in 2016.

The Citizen (KZN) - - NEWS - Ilse de Lange ils­edl@cit­i­

The trial of Mark Zinde, who is ac­cused of mur­der­ing his mother, former SABC board mem­ber Hope Zinde, has been post­poned to next week in the High Court in Pre­to­ria.

Zinde was pre­vi­ously re­ferred for men­tal ob­ser­va­tion at the Weskop­pies Psy­chi­atric Hospi­tal. But a re­port by a panel of ex­perts will only be put be­fore court dur­ing his next court ap­pear­ance.

His ma­ter­nal aunt, De­siree, ap­plied to have him re­ferred for ob­ser­va­tion to de­ter­mine if he suf­fered from any men­tal ill­ness, could con­trib­ute to le­gal pro­ceed­ings and had been able to distin­guish be­tween right and wrong and to act ac­cord­ingly at the time of the in­ci­dents.

He is ac­cused of mur­der­ing his mother in June last year and at­tempt­ing to mur­der his fa­ther, Dr Le­bo­hang Man­ote, while out on bail a few months later.

His aunt de­scribed in an af­fi­davit how she had seen him chang­ing from a vi­brant, happy head boy at school to a with­drawn recluse who re­fused to eat or leave his room.

She said her sis­ter was tem­per­a­men­tal and had pushed her son to suc­ceed, but she was also very pri­vate and that they only re­alised af­ter her death that she was suf­fer­ing from de­pres­sion and had been hid­ing her great­est chal­lenges from them.

Af­ter her sis­ter’s death, they dis­cov­ered a let­ter from a psy­chi­a­trist in­di­cat­ing that her nephew had been hos­pi­talised in 2014 for de­pres­sion with psy­chotic fea­tures, but stopped his med­i­ca­tion and had a re­lapse in April 2016.

The let­ter said Hope Zinde had com­plained her son locked him­self in his room, was not sleep­ing or eat­ing and was very ag­gres­sive and vi­o­lent when she tried to help him. She felt he was a dan­ger to him­self and other peo­ple, in­clud­ing her, and needed to be ad­mit­ted to a men­tal in­sti­tu­tion as an in­vol­un­tary pa­tient.

Zinde said her sis­ter had asked Mark’s fa­ther, a med­i­cal doc­tor, on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions to help her with­out suc­cess. She said it was clear from his out­bursts in court and his bizarre be­hav­iour in prison, where he talked to no one, slept un­der his bed, re­fused to change clothes and ate the lice on his clothes, that his men­tal state was con­tin­u­ing to de­te­ri­o­rate. –

Pic­ture: Gallo Images

CON­FUSED. Mark Zinde, son of mur­dered former jour­nal­ist and SABC board mem­ber Hope Zinde, is said to be act­ing in a bizarre fash­ion in prison.

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