Durban - Former Blue Bulls rugby player Joseph Phindile Ntshongwana had stopped being violent and aggressive after receiving medical treatment, the Durban High Court heard on Wednesday.
Psychologist, Prof Abubuker Gangat, who was being cross examined over his assertion that Ntshongwana was delusional, said: “His outward behaviour looks apparently normal, but he's a sick man. He's mentally ill. He's not well. He's sick.”
Gangat said Ntshongwana suffered from “persecutorial delusions”, which could only be controlled with treatment.
Asked why there had been no reports of Ntshongwana being violent in prison, he said it was due to the treatment he was receiving.
Ntshongwana is charged with the murder of Thembelenkosini Cebekhulu in Montclair, Durban, on March 20, 2011, Paulos Hlongwa two days later, Simon Ngidi the following day, and an unidentified man sometime that week. All were hacked to death with an axe.
He is accused of kidnapping and raping a woman on November 28, 2010, and of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm. The woman, who cannot be named, was kidnapped in central Durban and held captive for three days.
He faces two further charges of attempted murder. He has pleaded not guilty.
“He told me he cannot remember any incidents of murder,” said Gangat.
He said that all the hospitals Gangat had visited since 2009, when he was first diagnosed as having a problem, pointed to Ntshongwana being delusional. Only doctors at the Fort Napier hospital in Pietermaritzburg came to a different conclusion.
He said Ntshongwana firmly believed he was being poisoned and followed. He said delusions could only be controlled, but never eliminated.
“The intensity of the delusions can be reduced with medication,” he said.
The trial continues.