Professor Jonathan Scholtz, a psychologist, tasked with the responsibility of preparing a report for Paralympian Oscar Pistorius’ sentencing on a murder conviction has raised deep concerns about the mental state of the Paralympian star.
Scholtz, who was called by Pistorius’s legal team asserted that further imprisonment would have detrimental effects on him because of his psychiatric condition over the last two years.
Speaking on Monday during Oscar’s appearance in court, the psychologist recounted how devastated Oscar turned after the Supreme Court of Appeal overturned his culpable homicide conviction for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp to murder.
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He added that Pistorius’s condition had deteriorated since 2014‚ when he first interviewed him and he appeared to have limited energy and had developed major depression‚ anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder.
Pistorius was also now traumatized by the sound of gunfire, even in a film, and never wanted to go near a firearm again. As a consequence, he had sold all his weapons, the doctor said.
“He has become despondent‚ leaving his future in the hand of God. His current condition warrants hospitalization. His mood was anxious and depressed. He tended to derail.
His physical vulnerabilities have been well documented. He has developed major depression and post traumatic stress disorder. He appeared to have limited energy. He is not able to testify. His condition is severe,” Scholtz said.
During the sentencing proceedings today, the Pretoria High Court also heard the former athlete was aggressive and verbally abusive towards prison officials in his first month in jail.
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel told Prof Scholtz during cross-examination that “Centre management reported that Mr Pistorius struggled to adapt and was aggressive and violent towards officials in the first month.”
Nel was referring to a report by Kgosi Mampuru’s counselling psychologist, in which she wrote that the convicted murderer’s verbal aggression depicts the thickness of his explosive temperament.
“Mr Pistorius fails to identify himself as having committed a crime,” the report stated according to Nel.
Professor Jonathan Scholtz Trashes Mampuru’s Report
But Scholtz replied that Mampuru’s report was ‘poor’ and ‘unscientific’. He added that he never saw Pistorius as a violent person. Tracing his background, the psychologist said the former athlete attended schools without any incident irrespective of the fact that he lost his mother while in Grade nine.
“With the help of his family‚ he worked through this loss. There were no incidents of ill discipline in secondary school years. He was always respectful and disciplined. All of this changed through the incident which took place in 2013. His fall from grace was enormous. He was vilified and attacked by many.
He was unable to properly mourn the death of the accused. He is receiving psychotherapy for his condition.”
Professor Jonathan Scholtz told the court that although the sprint runner had enrolled at the University of Pretoria‚ demands of his athletics forced him to abandon his studies.
Meanwhile, the Commission for Gender Equality has expressed confidence that Oscar Pistorius’ sentencing proceedings would debunk the myth that the rich and famous get off scot-free with murder.
The double-amputee athlete has served a year of the five-year jail term he was given for culpable homicide before being released under correctional supervision in October in 2015.
The matter was adjourned to Tuesday at 09:30.