Chumani Nqakula murder accused still on psychiatric evaluation waiting list

The court is yet to decide whether Carlos Higuera is fit to stand trial for the murder of Chumani Nqakula.

Carlos Higuera in the dock at the Joburg Magistrates Court. His family says he is mentally unstable. Picture: Masego Rahlaga/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Lawyers representing a man accused of killing Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula's son say almost two months after the Johannesburg Magistrates Court ordered that their client be observed for a mental disorder, he is still on a waiting list at the Sterkfontein Hospital.

Carlos Higuera appeared in court last November for allegedly stabbing Chumani Nqakula in October.

The court is yet to decide whether Higuera is fit to stand trial for the murder of Nqakula, after his legal team provided papers to try and prove that he has been suffering from a mental health illness 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.

Higuera's lawyer, Bornwise Tshabalala, says he is still number 157 on the waiting list for observation at the Sterkfontein Hospital.

"It's going to drag; it's moving really slowly."

Tshabalala says it's up to the state's prosecution team to fast-track the process.

Higuera is still in custody in the mental health section, separate from other prisoners.