There was a mild drama in a Northern Cape High Court when a brutal kidnapper and serial rapist challenged the judge to grant him unconditional bail or face worse consequences.
The man accused of raping two young girls has threatened to commit suicide if he is not granted bail, after being incarcerated for 20 months while awaiting trial.
Moses Monnapule was charged with kidnapping and raping a six-year-old girl and an eight-year-old girl in his shanty in Madiba Square, Kimberley, in June last year after luring them away from their homes.
The accused covered his face with his hands and a bottle of water, objecting to having his photograph taken, when he appeared in the Northern Cape High Court on Monday. He later resorted to turning his back to the cameras and covering his head with his kaftan, in order to hide his face from the media.
Since his last court appearance on January 31, the State has still not been able to secure the services of another psychiatrist to determine if Monnapule is fit to stand trial.
The accused underwent psychiatric observation at the West End Hospital by Dr Keith Kirimi and Dr Gape Reginald Moroe, but will have to be re-evaluated after the Department of Health terminated the services of Dr Moroe.
It was discovered that Dr Moroe had been suspended from the Health Professional Council of South Africa in 2013, although he was still practising.
Senior State Advocate Catherine Jansen advised the court that they were still in the process of trying to get a psychiatrist to sit on the new panel to review the psychiatric observation.
“We have been in consultation with the acting head of the Department of Health as well as the chief executive of hospital services, Richard Jones. They have escalated the matter to the national office.”
She explained that neighbouring provinces were unable to avail their psychiatrists or psychologists as they had their own waiting lists.
“There is no private psychologist or psychiatrist on the list that has given an indication that they could assist the Northern Cape on the panel.”
Jansen added that given the shortage of psychiatrists in the Province, the Department of Health had indicated that they would “try to prioritise” the matter.
Monnapule complained that no one was visiting him in prison.
“I do not receive any visits in prison from my attorney. I only see my attorney when I come to court. I told him I want to apply for bail but nothing has been done yet about my request. Not even my youngest sister is allowed to visit me. I went to visit the investigating officer at his office. He found me waiting for him there because I keep waiting and waiting and I still do not get any visitors.”
Monnapule’s legal representative, Advocate Dries van Tonder, indicated that he had advised his client that he would need to apply for a formal bail application and that the date when it would be heard, would depend on the availability of the judge and the State.
Judge Bulelwa Pakati advised the accused to consult with his legal representative to discuss a suitable date for the application for a formal bail application.
“Due to the nature of the charges, evidence will have to be heard during the bail application. The case is proceeding but has experienced problems in terms of getting a psychiatrist or psychologist to sit on the panel for the evaluation. A report must be compiled before the matter starts.”
She indicated that she was unable to assist him in getting visitors to see him in prison and postponed the matter until March 14.