‘A lot of criminals plead insanity’ - NPA
Updated: Dec 3, 2019
By Khuthala Nandipha
“Many accused people plead insanity when they have to go on trial. In such cases, it is only a panel of professionals at these psychiatric institutions than can evaluate them and confirm or refute the accused’s claimed mental status,” stated Luxolo Tyali, regional spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
The family of slain Busisiwe ‘Busi’ Ngwadla (37) were told by the East London Magistrate Court that murder accused Ayanda Matika (50) can only be mentally evaluated in April 2020 when a bed is available at the Fort England Psychiatric hospital. Matika appeared briefly on November 25 and the case was remanded to January 8, 2020.
According to Tyali said they have also tried the Komani Mental Health hospital and it is also fully booked. The NPA prefers to utilise institutions within the province where a crime has been committed.
“This case is as important as other cases that are not necessarily in the media. The delays are regrettable, but it cannot be sped up. Once the evaluation is done, and the accused’s claim is refuted, chances of a speedy trial and conviction become higher. This is a necessary delay,” said Tyali.
Meanwhile, the Ngwadla family is worried about Busi’s son, who recently finished writing his matric final examinations. In February this year, Busisiwe’s son called the accused, Ayanda Matika (50) to give him a heads up that his mother might be seeing another man. Matika, then based in Cape Town, took the first bus to East London to confront his girlfriend of five years.
Four days later, he brutally stabbed Busi 13 times in their flat in Amalinda following an argument about the ‘man’ who visits her. According to Matika, Busi had claimed that the gentleman has assisted her in finding employment. Matika testified in June that he does not remember killing Ngwadla as he suffered from a ‘blackout’.
He was meant to stand for trial on August 8, 2019. In September the State proposed that Matika be taken for a mental evaluation, to the objection of his attorney, Bongani Macingwane. Macingwane is expected to make further presentations to the Director for Public Prosecution.
On November 25, the Magistrate Court A, not the High Court as previously scheduled, the Ngwadla family sat through court proceedings relating to common assault, burglaries, protection orders and other minor crimes before their case was called up, two minutes before lunch.
A healthy-looking Matika who has gained a lot of weight since he was arrested in March, beamed and smiled at his attorney before being taken down to the cells
Busi's Family speaks out - view here