WINDHOEK, 19 APR – A Swakopmund woman on trial in the High Court for killing her two-year-old daughter near the Henties Bay-Terrace Bay road in September 2016, has finally applied for psychiatric observation.
Zenobia Seas, 32, is accused of smothering her daughter with a piece of cloth in September 2016.
Seas made another appearance before High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg during a pre-trial conference of case management review on Thursday, when her Government-funded defence lawyer Christopher Dube moved an urgent application, asking the court to allow his client to undergo a psychiatric observation to determine her mental status before, at the time and after the commission of the offence.
The court then appointed private psychiatrist, Dr Reinhardt Sieberhagen to conduct the first mental examination while the Office of the Prosecutor-General will appoint another psychiatrist in the employ of the government to conduct the second mental observation.
Prosecution representative, Deputy Prosecutor-General Antonia Verhoef did not raise objections against Seas’ application for mental observation.
The application was lodged before court in terms of the provisions of Sections 77 and 78 of the Criminal Procedures Act 51 of 1977, which deals with the applications for psychiatric evaluation of the accused persons.
Seas will undergo a 30-day mental evaluation at Sieberhagen’s private medical practice and the Windhoek Central Hospital’s psychiatric unit as per the order issued by the court today.
Her case was then remanded until 17 May 2018, and the two reports in respect of her mental evaluation are also expected to be made public in court that day.
Seas’ murder case was on 25 October 2017 transferred from the Swakopmund Magistrate’s Court to the Windhoek High Court as per a decision taken by the Office of the Prosecutor-General.
Seas, who was employed at Husab Mine at the time of the incident, allegedly drove from Swakopmund with her daughter to about 112 kilometres northwest of Henties Bay, where the toddler was killed.
It is suspected that after suffocating the child, Seas put firewood under her vehicle in an effort to burn herself and the slain toddler’s body inside the car.
The wood had, however, not caught fire when the police arrived at the scene and arrested her.
Seas remains in custody at the Klein Windhoek Police Station since arrest with no option to post bail.