Wait for psychiatric evaluation drags on

A Pollsmoor Prison warder accused of killing his wife has still not had a psychiatric evaluation, seven months and several court appearances after the State requested that he be assessed at Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital.

The State alleges that Johan Dietricht fired five shots at his estranged wife, Marilyn, at the jail's entrance, after she had agreed to collect maintenance money for their 11-year-old son at Dietricht's workplace.

The boy was with his mother when she was shot twice. She died instantly.

While the court previously heard that Dietricht had been on medication for depression since 1989, and admitted that he had not taken his medication regularly, the State requested that he be assessed at Valkenberg.

But, after being on the waiting list for about four months, the medical reports were still not forthcoming.

Dietricht has since moved to number 37 on the list of patients to be assessed.

Wynberg magistrate Hafiza Mohamed said on Wednesday she hoped that the assessment would be done soon so the bail application could continue.

Evidence emerged in earlier proceedings that Dietricht acted in a "fit of rage" when he allegedly shot his wife in August 2009.

Dietricht was remanded to the hospital wing of Pollsmoor Prison while he waits to be transferred to Valkenberg.


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