Nqakula murder accused was on new schizophrenia meds

Carlos Higuera’s father says doctors changed his son’s prescribed medication just days before the incident.

Carlos Higuera (C) is accused of killing defence minister Nosiviwe Maphisa-Nqakula’s son, Chumani Nqakula, in Bezuidenhout Valley. Picture: Masego Rahlaga/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The father of a man accused of killing the son of defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula says doctors changed his son's prescription for mental health medication just days before the incident.

Carlos Higuera appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrates Court on Wednesday for the murder of Chumani Nqakula.

Higuera's father George explained to the court that his son has been suffering from a mental health disorder since 2010.

It's understood the 24-year-old was admitted to the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital that year before being transferred to the Tara Psychiatric Hospital where he was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

His father says he had been on medication since then, but was prescribed new pills just days before allegedly stabbing Nqakula in the chest.

Higuera's lawyer Bornwise Tshabalala says during the consultation, it became clear to the team that their client had a mental disorder.

"He appeared to be somebody who does not understand, because we had to dig deep to get answers from him."

Magistrate Albertus Roux agreed that the 24-year-old needed to be admitted to a secure mental institution and postponed the matter to next Friday for the presentation of previous medical records.