Bulawayo High Court Judge Justice Martin Makonese yesterday ruled that Reuben Maphosa (53) of Mafuku Primary School Cottages in Guyu area, Gwanda, could not be held legally responsible for axing his two granddaughters to death before attempting to kill his wife, as he was mentally disturbed after abusing cocaine and other dangerous drugs.
Justice Makonese returned a special verdict of not guilty because of insanity in terms of the Mental Health Act. He ordered Maphosa to be confined to Mlondolozi Mental Institution for further treatment, saying he was a danger to society. Maphosa was facing two counts of murder and one of attempted murder. In his ruling, Justice Makonese expressed concern over an upsurge in murder cases committed by mental patients. However The Chronicle reports that Maphosa appeared normal throughout the entire court proceedings as he gave coherent responses. He even said he agreed with the prosecutor’s narration of sequence of events.