By Darlington Gatsi
TRIAL of rape and murder accused Bright Zhantali got off to a false start Monday as State and defence lawyers appealed to Justice Rodgers Manyangadze to consider placing him into a mental institution pending the commencement of the hearing.
Zhantali, who is currently in jail for nine counts of rape and murder, was due to stand trial Tuesday on separate cases of rape and killing of a woman whose body was found in Lake Chivero, last year.
The State, represented by Terrence Mukuze, requested Zhanatli be admitted to a psychiatric facility as he was not fit to stand trial.
Mukuze argued there was need for Zhantali to be admitted until his fate was determined by a mental health tribunal, further arguing he already was s a danger to society due to other crimes he committed.
Appearing for Zhantali, Rymond Kadani concurred with Mukuze saying Zhantali could not answer to his charges appealing to the court to deliver a special verdict.
Kadani told court there were two medical reports, which delivered conflicting statements on Zhantali’s fitness to stand trial.
Zhantali displayed strange characteristics before the High Court with Justice Manyangadze questioning if he was not being theatrical.
The matter was rolled over to Tuesday.
Circumstances are that Zhantali met Nester Chikwengo (45) last year and lied to her that he had fish for sale.
It is alleged Zhantali stole a cellphone from Chikwengo before raping her and upon realising the heinous murder he dumped her body into Lake Chivero.
Zhantali last year grabbed headlines after he went on a rampage of raping and murdering women in Marondera and Manicaland before he was nabbed by detectives from CID Homicide.