Nkosinathi Phakathi, known as the Ekurhuleni Serial Rapist, is set to undergo a mental observation at either Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital or Sterkfontein Psychiatric Hospital, contingent on bed availability at these facilities. This decision came about following an application by Phakathi’s lawyer, Advocate Letau Kgokane, who sought a mental evaluation to substantiate evidence presented by the defence’s clinical psychologist, Dr. Lynette Roux. Dr. Roux’s assessment suggested that Phakathi exhibited signs of emotional depression, hallucination, and schizophrenia.
Kgokane stressed the importance of addressing this aspect through psychiatric evaluation to ensure a fair and just outcome in the sentencing proceedings. He emphasised that justice should not be compromised, whether it results in lengthy incarceration or placement in a psychiatric institution.
Dr. Roux’s psychosocial report, prepared for the defence, revealed that Phakathi claimed to hear a voice in his head instructing him on whom to rape during his crimes. Her extensive testing, comprising over 400 questions, indicated the need for psychological and spiritual interventions. She characterised Phakathi as mentally disturbed, delusional, suffering from major depression, and experiencing episodes where he lost touch with reality, resulting in an inability to recall many of his rape incidents.
However, the SAPS psychological expert, Colonel Kirsten Clark, contradicted Dr Roux’s assessment when she testified in the Pretoria High Court at the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court on September 27.
The case is scheduled to return to court on November 27 at the Benoni Regional Court. Phakathi was convicted in November of 148 charges, including rape, kidnapping, theft, and assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm. These charges stemmed from his crimes committed between 2012 and March 2021 against victims aged 10 to 44. Phakathi used various ruses, such as posing as a meter box installer, geyser repairman, house inspector, or food distributor, to approach his victims, subsequently robbing and raping them while threatening harm if they reported the crimes to the police. The State withdrew 55 of the initially filed 203 charges against him. Phakathi was apprehended in March last year in Barcelona, Etwatwa, following an extensive manhunt by the police.
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Photo: Supplied by Benoni City Times