July 1, 2016

How to get away with #murder in #SouthAfrica: the rage-killing of UCT prof Brian Hahn. "Steve Tlati was found “unfit for trial” and “not guilty” due to mental illness.

Tim Crowe writes on how, within a few years of killing Brian Hahn at UCT, Steve Tladi was once again out and about
The murder:
On 28 January 2005, in the Mathematics Building, “with never a word spoken” and with “no warning” and “no hand to defend himself”, Brian was, without provocation, systematically and brutally beaten. His attacker, Dr Maleafisha Stephen ‘Steve’ Tladi “hit him on the head, hard, several times with an umbrella”. This caused Brian to “fall to the floor backwards, cracking (literally) his skull.” Then Steve “put the boot into his face, several times”. Brian died as a consequence of his injuries.
 But, he was adjudged to be "a danger to society” and declared a “State Patient” to be “detained in a psychiatric institution or hospital with such a facility” (Valkenberg Hospital) for life. This ruling could only be modified by the “decision of a judge in chambers."So, a murderer and wife beater was permanently removed from society. Not for long.
"After less than two-year’s confinement, Steve was: released to the custody of his wife and mother; employed as an academic at the University of Limpopo; and continued as a “State Patient”. It took more than six months of written enquires to Steve and his wife, Valkengberg Hospital, his post-conviction psychiatrists, the magistrate’s court, relevant government advocates, a host of people at UCT (including its vice chancellor, his office director, his personal assistant and various communication officers) and the Mental Health Review Board - Legal Division, to obtain this information. I still have been unsuccessful in obtaining information relating to the legal actions, e.g. a ruling by “a judge in chambers”, that effected this process. According to UCT, my queries “fell through the cracks”. The only explanations I have are bizarre e-mails from Steve in which he states that he is “totally cured” from mental illness as a consequence of a religious experience. I quote one passage: “As a result of my intake of the anoited [sic] words in those materials, I'm completely healed!”
Given these findings, has justice in this case really been served? Regardless - can something positive not be salvaged from Brian’s death? For example, Steve could publicly show remorse for his actions and condemn the current violence on university campuses. Another option would be to commemorate what Brian stood (and UCT stands) for by renaming the maths building after him or honouring his memory with a plaque? Or, is this just another episode of How to Get Away with Murder and will Brian slip through the cracks? - 
  http://www.politicsweb.co.za/opinion/getting-away-with-murder -- 
http://www.uct.ac.za/mondaypaper/archives/?id=4960 -- 
http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/murder-accused-wont-be-sent-for-observation-261502 --