Double-murder accused claims he was possessed by a demon, court told
THE MAN accused of killing his wife and her sister has religious delusions – he considers himself a black Jew who was chosen for greater things.
This was the testimony of Dr Jacobus Roux, a psychiatrist who testified yesterday that Frans Seroba has mental problems and is therefore, not fit to stand trial.
Explaining the reason behind the double murders, Seroba claims that a demon took possession of him.
“He was obsessed with his wife and now he is obsessed with religion,” Roux told the Joburg High Court sitting in Palm Ridge yesterday.
The testimony comes in spite of the fact that Seroba has undergone two psychiatric evaluations at Sterkfontein Psychiatric Hospital and was found to be fit to stand trial.
Seven years ago, Seroba allegedly shot and killed his wife Martha at their Sandton home, then killed her sister, Sarah Makwati, at her workplace in Braam- fontein. He is out on R20 000 bail.
The case has been postponed more than 30 times in seven years.
When the trial was supposed to start on Monday, Seroba’s lawyer said his client could not comprehend what was happening and would bring a doctor to testify to that effect.
The State, however, requested yet another postponement – this time to take Seroba to another psychiatric hospital.
But Judge Bert Bam refused to grant the postponement.
He said it would not be in the interests of justice to do so and that the court would determine whether Seroba was fit to stand trial.
Roux, who was the first witness to take the stand in the inquiry yesterday, told the court Seroba, 54, had in the past been diagnosed with bipolar and psychotic disorders, among others.
When he consulted with him from January, Seroba had more schizophrenic symptoms. The former banker heard voices talking to him all the time.
Even in court yesterday, he could see how Seroba’s lawyer battled to get through to him during a consultation, Roux said.
In cross-examination, the prosecutor, advocate Leonie Makoko, asked Roux how it was possible he was able to determine that Seroba was not fit to stand trial after about 10 hours of consultation, while he had spent more than 60 days as a patient in Sterkfontein and psychiatrists said he was fit to stand trial.
Roux said it would be unfair to comment on those old reports.
The inquiry continues.
‘MENTALLY ILL’: Frans Seroba is accused of murdering his wife and sister-in-law in 2007.