Pretoria - Mark Zinde, accused of murdering his mother, former SABC board member Hope Zinde, was on Monday for the third time referred to Weskoppies psychiatric hospital, west of Pretoria, for mental observation.
A panel of psychiatrists had twice in the past declared him fit to stand his trial. But both the defence and the State had agreed that he be evaluated for a third time, as it appeared that his mental state may have deteriorated.
No reasons for this concern was mentioned in open court, but it is understood that he is not communicating with anyone and that it is difficult to take instructions from him about what happened on the day his mother had died.
Zinde, 24, clutched a blue blanket under his arm as he slowly walked from the holding cells to the dock. He seemed not to be fully aware of what was going on around him and a court orderly had to lead him by hand into the dock.
He had in the past shouted obscenities in court and even spat at people in court.
Judge Bert Bam, on request from the defence, ordered that Zinde had to be held at the hospital section of the Kgosi Mampuru Prison until a bed was available at Weskoppies.
Prosecutor Andre Wilsenach said he was placed in possession of statements by the defence, which indicated that it would be in Zinde’s interest as well as that of justice if he returned to Weskoppies for a third time.
It was agreed that a different panel of psychiatrist will evaluate him this time. The panel of three experts will after the 30 days observation, issue a report regarding his mental status to the court.
If it is found that he is not fit to face his trial, he could be institutionalized for a very long time, until another panel of experts had declared him well enough to be released.
Zinde has not yet pleaded to the murer and other charges against him, as the case had to be
Postponed time and again due to his mental observation in the past.
It is claimed that he killed his 50-year-old mother at their home in Pecanwood Estate, Hartbeespoort Dam, near Brits. Her body was discovered on June 11, 2016, inside the boot of her car.
Zinde was arrested soon after and for the first time sent for psychiatric evaluation.
He was initially released on R10 000 bail, but it is claimed that he then assaulted his father, Dr Lebohang Manoto, at his Walkerville home, south of Johannesburg.
His bail was revoked and he was send for a second mental assessment following the alleged attack on his father.
Zinde has been charged with murder, drug possession, assault, and attempted murder.
The case was provisionally postponed to June 3.