Woman defies court over rude De Lille SMSs

A woman who allegedly sent rude SMSs to politician Patricia de Lille—and then refused to appear in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court—was sent for psychiatric observation on Thursday.

De Lille is the leader of the Independent Democrats political party.

Lara Johnstone (40) is charged with crimen injuria, and prosecuting authorities are yet to decide whether to add intimidation to the charges.

No details of the crimen injuria charge were given when prosecutor Thembela Yawa called her case in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court.

According to the charge sheet, Johnstone was arrested on Wednesday.

When her case was called, a court orderly went to the court’s holding cells to fetch her, but returned without her and explained that she was violent, swearing and abusive, and refused to be brought into the courtroom.

The magistrate noted on the court record: “Accused refuses to be brought to court. She is abusive and hostile.”

Also on the record was a letter from the forensic services section of the Community Health Services Organisation, in which Theo Dahms stated: “She is totally uncooperative, and refuses to answer any of my questions. She simply walked out of the room.

“I can therefore not comment on her mental condition, but would think if she persists in this way she needs to be sent for psychiatric observation.”

Johnstone was remanded in her absence to September 22, when her psychiatric assessment is to be handed to the court.—Sapa

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