Matricide accused still awaiting second mental evaluation

13 Jul 2016 11:50am
WINDHOEK, 13 JUL (NAMPA) - A man on trial for hacking his mother to death with an axe at the Otjimbingwe settlement in 2013 is yet to be admitted for a second mental fitness observation.
The prosecuting authority (Prosecutor-General's Office) has not yet secured a bed at the Windhoek Central Hospital's psychiatric unit for the mental evaluation of the alleged killer, Sigfried Uirab.
This information was made public when the 26-year-old Uirab appeared before High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg during a pre-trial conference of case management review on Wednesday.
His case was remanded until 08 August 2016 to enable the PG's office to secure a bed at the Windhoek Central Hospital psychiatric unit.
On 06 April this year, judgement in this case was put on hold after Uirab was referred for a second 30-day-mental fitness observation.
The court also on Wednesday morning instructed the Office of the Prosecutor-General Martha Imalwa to send a formal written request to Dr Sara Shalongo, the superintendent of the Windhoek Central Hospital, to facilitate the admission of the accused to the psychiatric unit before his next court appearance on 08 August this year.
Uirab allegedly killed his mother Erika Uiras, 63, by hacking her to death with an axe at Otjimbingwe, situated south-east of Karibib in Erongo Region on 21 November 2013.
The pensioner died of head injuries in a Windhoek hospital two days after the attack.
Uirab's second mental fitness observation will be conducted by two independent psychiatrists to establish his mental capability before, at the time and after the commission of the crime.
Initially, he was only assessed by State psychiatrist Dr Helen Ndjaba.
In her submissions earlier, State Advocate Felistas Sikerete-Vendura asked that Uirab be found guilty as charged of the counts of murder, attempted murder and assault by threat.
However, his government-funded defence lawyer, Titus Ipumbu told the court that his client cannot be held criminally responsible for the death of his mother because he was apparently suffering from substance-induced psychosis as he abused alcohol and dagga (cannabis) at the time of the incident.
Uirab still maintains that he was possessed by “strange unknown spirits” that forced him to commit the crime.
He entered a guilty plea, but the court did not accept this plea after his claims of being possessed.
Instead, Judge Liebenberg entered a plea of not guilty to the count of murder on behalf of Uirab.
He also pleaded not guilty to the other two counts of attempted murder and assault by threat.
He allegedly tried to murder his sister, Ruth Uiras, by hitting her on the head with the same axe and chased another relative, Lizette Uiras, with the same weapon.
Uirab had been treated at the psychiatric clinic of the Windhoek Central Hospital for about two months before the attack on his mother.
He was diagnosed with substance-induced psychosis for allegedly abusing alcohol and drugs.
Ipumbu is defending Uirab on the instructions of the Justice Ministry's Directorate of Legal Aid.