‘Oscar not delusional on night of shooting’

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barry and oscar may 13

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Oscar Pistorius is seen with his defence advocate Barry Roux during his murder trial at the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday. Picture: Daniel Born

Pretoria - In his re-examination of defence psychiatrist Professor Merryll Vorster on Tuesday, defence advocate Barry Roux asked about the Criminal Procedures Act section that would send Oscar Pistorius for observation.

On Monday, Vorster told the High Court in Pretoria that she had diagnosed the athlete with a general anxiety disorder (GAD). She suggested this may have affected Pistorius's actions on the night he shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp.

This prompted prosecutor Gerrie Nel to say he would apply to have Pistorius referred to a psychiatric facility for observation as dictated by the Criminal Procedures Act.

 

In the act, GAD falls under the DSM5 category. On Tuesday, Vorster read from the Act that additional information would be required for a DSM5 diagnosis to determine if an accused should go under observation.

Roux read from Tuesday's court transcript where Vorster said that GAD would not be defined as a “mental illness” as it was defined in the Act. She said Pistorius did not have any delusions on the night of the shootings.

“This (GAD) would not render one of being in need of involuntary care or treatment,” Vorster said on Tuesday.

It would not render someone unfit to stand trial, according to the psychiatrist.

She said individuals with an anxiety disorder could, however, eventually turn paranoid and require observation.

Roux then said that none of Pistorius's testimony was delusional. When the athlete heard a window opening or the toilet cubicle door slamming, the door and window were found in the correct state by investigators.

On Monday, Nel had asked if Pistorius could be a dangerous person with a firearm because of his disorder.

Roux combatted this by saying that in an incident where Pistorius was attacked from behind, he had not used his equipped firearm at the time.

Vorster said this meant Pistorius was able to generally control his usage of firearms.

Roux also said that regarding Pistorius's security concerns, the athlete was careful to alert workers who had been working on his home about locking up and other safety measures.

shain.germaner@inl.co.za

The Star


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