Accused in New Somerset Hospital shooting has depression, court told

This was revealed in the Cape Town Magistrates Court where Jean-Paul Malgas has made his first appearance.

FILE: New Somerset Hospital. Picture: Lindsay Dentlinger/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The former police officer accused of killing a constable and two patients at a Cape Town hospital suffers from severe depression.

This was revealed in the Cape Town Magistrates Court on Tuesday where Jean-Paul Malgas has made his first appearance.

He was a patient at New Somerset Hospital in Green Point when he allegedly disarmed a constable who was there guarding another patient on Saturday night.

The court has heard that Malgas is suicidal and not in a good frame of mind.

The 39-year-old man stepped into the dock unusually restrained in handcuffs and leg irons for the safety of court officials, the public and the accused himself.

His lawyer Shagan Balram explained: “I was not happy about it and I did consult with my client and my client advised me that at this stage, he is suicidal and does suffer from depression.”

The father of four from Vredenberg was a police member between 2002 and 2007 and left the service as a constable in the West Coast town of Hopefield.

Since then, he's been unemployed.

When asked why he left, his lawyer stated he was not comfortable at work and there were issues within the South African Police Service that led to him leaving.