My colleagues and I often care for patients suffering from hallucinations, prophesying, and claiming to speak with God, among other symptoms—in mental health care, it’s sometimes very difficult to tell apart religious belief from mental illness…. Our conclusions frequently stem from the behaviors we see before us. Take an example of a man who walks into an emergency department, mumbling incoherently. He says he’s hearing voices in his head, but insists there’s nothing wrong with him. He hasn’t used any drugs or alcohol. If he were to be evaluated by mental health professionals, there’s a good chance he might be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder like schizophrenia. But what if that same man were deeply religious? What if his incomprehensible language was speaking in tongues?
Under the smooth guidance of state prosecutor Gerrie Nel, the case’s investigating officer Hilton Botha delivered what seemed to be a damning case against Pistorius in the morning session. But when defence advocate Barry Roux began his cross-examination of Hilton, it took very little time for things to fall apart. As a criminal lawyer pointed out to the Daily Maverick, “the skills of the prosecutor mean nothing if the IO [investigating officer] caves in the stand.” After a full grilling from Roux, the police work on the case was made to look sloppy and careless. – Rebecca Davis at Daily MaverickBACK TO TOP