Roland Routh Windhoek-During scheduled pre-trial appearances for two men and one woman accused of killing their romantic partners, Deputy Judge President Hosea Angula standing in for Judge Christi Liebenberg, was informed that local psychiatrist Dr Reinhardt Sieberhagen was appointed to mentally observe them. Deputy Prosecutor General Advocate Antonia Verhoef said Sieberhagen will be the independent psychiatrist for Rachel Rittmann, 46, Jomo Petrus, 30, and Levi Haneb, 32, who all stand accused of murder. All three applied for mental observation under the Crime Prevention Act to assess whether they are fit to stand trial. The State-funded legal representative of Rittmann, who allegedly conspired with her lover to kill her husband, asked the court to have his client mentally assessed. According to Hipura Ujaha, he was not able to consult Rittmann properly, as she was not “able to give proper instructions and prepare a decent defence”. It is not clear at this stage whether any of the three have been seen by the psychiatrist, but State Advocate Marthino Olivier, who is prosecuting Rittmann, said during a previous appearance that it seems “remote” that she will be allocated a bed at the Mental Unit this year still. Rittmann and Rhyno Richardo du Preez, 33, face one count of murder, read with the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act; one count of conspiracy to commit murder; one count of robbery with aggravating circumstances; and one count of defeating or obstructing the course of justice, or attempting to do so. According to the State, Du Preez and Rachel conspired to kill her husband, Rudolph Henry Rittmann and stabbed the late Rittmann to death at his home in Gobabis before driving the corpse in his vehicle to a secluded spot in the veld, where they set it on fire with the corpse inside. Haneb was allocated a bed, but could not be traced and the bed was then allocated to someone else. His State-funded lawyer, Jan Wessels, told the court at the time that Haneb was unemployed and had no cellphone and was difficult to reach. Judge Liebenberg then indicated that if that was the case he would cancel Haneb’s warning and remand him in custody. He is on trial on charges of murder, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and assault by threat. It is alleged by the State that he killed Ingenesia Ais with whom he was in a romantic relationship with a panga on April 3, 2015. The other charges relate to incidents in which he allegedly either threatened to assault the deceased, or assaulted her physically. Petrus, who allegedly shot and killed his former girlfriend at the beach in Walvis Bay and then trued unsuccessfully to commit suicide, is also still awaiting a bed in the Mental Health Unit. He too is out on bail of N$4,000 that he was granted in 2015. His State funded lawyer, Mposikeng Dube, indicated in his pre-trail reply that his client needed to be mentally observed to determine his blameworthiness for the alleged crime. Petrus faces a charge of murder, one count of theft of a firearm, alternatively possession of a firearm, and carrying ammunition without a licence. It is alleged he lured 24-year-old Louise Alupe to Independence Seashore, Kuisebmond at Walvis Bay under the guise of fixing their relationship that she had broken off. Once there, he shot her with his uncle’s pistol before turning the weapon on himself, but he failed to kill himself and was found unconscious next to the deceased in a pool of blood.
2017-09-25 09:54:02 11 months ago