Child assault accused locks herself in court bathroom before appearance
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Cape Town – A woman accused of assaulting two teenagers – one with a riding crop and chaining the other to a bed – locked herself in a bathroom at a court building when proceedings were about to start.
When she refused to come out, the presiding officer at the Worcester Magistrate’s Court decided it was in the best interest of justice that the mental state of mother-of-two Galinda Nelson, 54, be examined. Nelson, originally from Pinelands, Cape Town, blamed the ’’strange behaviour’’ of court security personnel for her response.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said in a statement: ’’The case was on the point of starting when the accused disrupted proceedings by locking herself in the bathroom in the court building and refused to come out.
’’She alleged that her strange behaviour was a result of the building’s security personnel who were abusive towards her. This irrational behaviour was previously displayed and was cause a for concern.
’’The presiding officer decided it was in the interest of justice that her mental state be examined.’’
The matter was rolled over to May 17 for a provisional evaluation by a psychologist at the Thutuzela Care Centre.
Nelson was arrested on January 29, 2019 on a farm outside Worcester, where 12 children – aged between two and 16 – had been placed in her care. The children – including her daughter, 15, and adopted son, 13 – have been taken to a place of safety.
She intends to defend herself after initially being advised to obtain the services of a Legal Aid representative.
Nelson runs the non-profit organisation Cardinal Halyard International and has been caring for Aids orphans and abused and neglected township children for more than a decade.