Jean-Jacques Cornish

Psychiatrist testifies Pistorius should be hospitalized not jailed

A psychiatrist who examined fallen Olympian Oscar Pistorius for the State during his seven-month trial two years ago for shooting his lover Reeva Steenkamp says the mental condition of the double amputee has deteriorated sharply.

Dr Jonathon Scholtz tells a sentencing hearing in the Pretoria High Court that Pistorius should be hospitalised not returned to prison as is expected after his manslaughter conviction was upgraded to murder.

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The sentencing hearing for South Africa’s disgraced golden boy is set down to last until Friday.

Judge Thokozile Masipa, who’s manslaughter conviction was overturned by the Appeal Court who found Oscar Pistorius guilty of murder, is once again on the bench.

She has to impose the harsher sentence on the accused, who insists he fired the fatal shots that killed Reeva Steenkamp through the bathroom door of his apartment believing there was an  intruder.

South Africa’s criminal law lays down a mandatory 15 year sentence for murder.

  1. Masipa may reduce this if there are extraordinary circumstances. She may also take into account that Pistorius has served a year in prison of  the five-year sentence she originally laid down.

Psychiatrist Jonathon Scholtz reported during the original trial that there were two Oscars – the Olympic hero with his prosthesis and the insecure frightened boy on his stumps.

Now he says there’s a third Pistorius  who’s too broken-sprited to give evidence in mitigation of his sentence.

He’s suffering deep anxiety, paranoia and post traumatic stress.

He should be hospitalized not incarcerated.

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Jean-Jacques Cornish is a journalist and broadcaster who has been involved in the media all his adult life.

Starting as a reporter on his hometown newspaper, he moved briefly to then Rhodesia before returning to South Africa to become a parliamentary correspondent with the South African Press Association. He was sent to London as Sapa’s London editor and also served as special correspondent to the United Nations. He joined the then Argus group in London as political correspondent.

Returning to South Africa after 12 years abroad, he was assistant editor on the Pretoria News for a decade before becoming editor of the Star and SA Times for five years.

Since 1999 he’s been an independent journalist writing and broadcasting – mainly about Africa – for Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape
Talk, Radio France International, PressTV, Radio Live New Zealand, Business Day, Mail & Guardian, the BBC, Agence France Press,
Business in Africa, Leadership, India Today, the South African Institute for International Affairs and the Institute for Security Studies.

He has hosted current affairs talk shows on Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk. He appears as an African affairs pundit on SABC Africa and CNBC Africa.
He lectured in contemporary studies to journalism students at the Tshwane University of Technology and the University of Pretoria.

He speaks on African affairs to corporate and other audiences.
He has been officially invited as a journalist to more than 30 countries. He was the winner of the 2007 SADC award for radio journalism.

He’s been a member of the EISA team observing elections in Somaliland, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Egypt and Tunsiai.

In October 2009 he headed a group of 39 African journalists to the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Peoples’ Republic of China.

In January 2010 he joined a rescue and paramedical team to earthquake struck Haiti.

He is immediate past president of the Alliance Francaise of Pretoria.

Jean-Jacques is a director of Giant Media. The company was given access to Nelson Mandela in his retirement years until 2009.
He is co-producer of the hour-long documentary Mandela at 90 that was broadcast on BBC in January 2009.