Ghost told Harmse to become a satanist, court hears
A matric pupil who is accused of killing a fellow schoolboy with a sword believes he was told by a ghost to become a satanist, the Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court heard on Wednesday.
Prosecutor Engela van Der Merwe read the court a letter from a psychiatrist who evaluated Morne Harmse (18) earlier this week while he was being held in Krugersdorp prison.
The psychiatrist, MM Molefi Listheko, said Harmse told him he had seen a ghost in a field on a farm his parents rented, which instructed him to become a satanist.
Listheko said Harmse seemed depressed and recommended he be sent for psychiatric evaluation at Sterkfontein mental hospital. Magistrate Christa Breedt ruled that Harmse be sent there on Wednesday.
Said Listheko: “His affect was flat, he had good insight into the incident.” He said a possible diagnosis was that Harmse suffered from a personality disorder, but further evaluation was needed.
Appearing in court on Wednesday dressed in a blue tracksuit top and red T-shirt, the slight Harmse appeared very nervous, averting his gaze from the public gallery.
Breedt told Harmse that three psychiatrists and a psychologist would assess if he could gauge the difference between right and wrong and whether he was fit to stand trial.
Harmse’s parents, Machiel and Liza, sat in a court overflowing with family and friends of the accused and the deceased, as well as the media.
There were also students who appeared to be from the Nic Diederichs Technical High School where Harmse, allegedly brandishing a Samurai sword and wearing a mask, slashed 16-year-old Jacques Pretorius across the neck on August 18. Pretorius died on the scene.
Harmse then allegedly stabbed and injured another boy and two gardeners.
The case was postponed until September 26, when it was expected that the results of the mental evaluations would be presented.
After court was adjourned, Harmse’s mother was seen crying in the corridor of the court building as her husband held her hand and led her away into a side room.—Sapa