Guatemalan murder-accused Diego Dougherty Novella must urgently be placed in a psychiatric hospital, the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court heard on Monday.
His lawyer William Booth brought an application for a referral to such a hospital, based on a provisional report written up by psychiatrist Tuviah Zabow.
“He does say in his report it is a matter of urgency and the accused being taken up in Valkenberg Hospital should be done urgently and immediately,” Booth said.
It is the State’s case that the 41-year-old assaulted and inflicted fatal injuries on 39-year-old US marketing executive Gabriela Kabrins Alban at the upmarket Camps Bay Retreat in July.
The court granted the referral application, but said it could not order his admission be expedited because all these kinds of cases were urgent.
Once admitted to the Cape Town hospital, an appointed panel would hold an inquiry into his state of mind, both at the time of the alleged offence and presently.
The matter was postponed until September 30.
He would remain in custody at the hospital section of Pollsmoor Prison pending the admission.
In terms of an order, the media were barred from reporting on the contents of the provisional psychiatric report because of its sensitive nature.
Dressed in a black tracksuit and with his dark hair combed back, the Guatemalan seemed calm and made little movement in the dock.
It was only when the translator updated him on the proceedings that he moved forward, leaned his arms on the dock and asked a clarifying question. News24