News24 Wire
Wire Service
1 minute read
20 Feb 2021
1:40 pm

Cape Town anti-mask protester charged with assault declared unfit to stand trial

News24 Wire

A psychiatric report found he had no criminal capacity and could not distinguish right from wrong.

Picture for illustration.

The anti-mask protester charged with allegedly assaulting a journalist during a lockdown beach protest has been declared unfit to stand trial.

The National Prosecuting Authority said Craig Peiser was involuntarily admitted to Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital.

A psychiatric report found he had no criminal capacity and could not distinguish right from wrong.

Peiser was arrested in Cape Town in a reprise of a protest over the beach ban in an earlier version of the lockdown at the beginning of the year.

eNCA journalist Monique Mortlock was reporting on the protest when her mask was pulled off her face. Peiser was charged with assault as a result.

At his court appearance in Simon’s Town, he was filmed sitting on a pavement outside for a long time explaining his thought processes.

Peiser was kept in custody while a decision was made as to whether he would need a psychiatric evaluation.

He was then sent for one while still in custody.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said the conclusion was that Peiser was unfit to stand trial and was admitted to Valkenberg.

“This follows a psychiatric report authored by Professor Sean Kaliski.

“He is going to be treated as an involuntary mental health care user. Based on the report, the court also found that he didn’t have criminal capacity when the incidents happened.

“He couldn’t distinguish between right and wrong,” added Ntabazalila.

This approach is usually reserved for an accused who is unable to follow criminal proceedings properly.

News24

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