Ilse de Lange
1 minute read
20 May 2014
10:08 am

Oscar will be out-patient at Weskoppies

Ilse de Lange

Oscar Pistorius will undergo psychological observation as an out-patient at the Weskoppies psychiatric hospital in Pretoria.

FILE PICTURE: Paralympian Oscar Pistorius sits in the dock during his murder trial at the high court in Pretoria, Monday, 12 May 2014. Pistorius is on trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Picture: Chris Collingridge/Independent Newspapers/Pool

Judge Thokozile Masipa last week referred Pistorius for psychiatric observation following an application by State prosecutor Gerrie Nel.

This was after forensic psychologist Dr Merryll Vorster testified for the defence that Pistorius suffered from generalised anxiety disorder which, coupled with his physical vulnerability, may have affected his ability to act in accordance with his realisation of the wrongfulness of his conduct when he shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on February 14 last year.

The proceedings started about half an hour late, but Judge Masipa took less than 10 minutes to read out a court order prepared by the state and defence.

She ordered that Pistorius must report as an outpatient at the Weskoppies hospital at 9am starting next Monday, May 26, and on every weekday thereafter at times determined by the medial superintendent of the hospital for a period not exceeding 30 days.

He must remain at the hospital until 4pm every day, or until he is formally excused by the medical superintendent.

The court appointed a team of three psychiatrists and a psychologist to enquiry into whether Pistorius by reason of a mental illness or defect was at the time of the offence criminally responsible and whether he was capable of appreciating the wrongfulness of his act or to act in accordance with such appreciation.

The team of experts was ordered to submit their report to the registrar of the court, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the accused as soon as it was completed.

The record of the proceedings must also be made available to the experts should they regard it as necessary.

Judge Masipa postponed the trial to 30 June.