RAF fraud accused sent for observation

Cape Town - A woman who allegedly made a false R900 000 claim against the Road Accident Fund (RAF), was referred on Thursday to a psychiatric hospital for 30 days' observation.

Magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg ordered Elizabeth Ndikandika to be sent for assessment, when she appeared in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Cape Town.

Legal aid lawyer Hayley Lawrence told the court she had consulted Ndikandika, who did not seem to understand what was being asked of her, despite the use of an interpreter.

“She needs to be referred for observation,” Lawrence told the court.

Prosecutor Annette de Lange suggested that Ndikandika first be assessed by a district surgeon, and only be sent to a psychiatric hospital for observation if the district surgeon considered it necessary.

De Lange said the case was ready for trial, but that the trial had so far been delayed twice by postponements.

Sonnenberg said the court was obliged to refer Ndikandika for psychiatric observation if it appeared that she was unable to understand the proceedings due to mental illness or defect.

She said this was in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act.

The matter was postponed to July 11.