I’m mentally ill, murder accused Zimbabwean tells SA court

Lloyd Simbarashe

Cape Town – The State this week cross-examined the Zimbabwean accused of murdering his South African girlfriend.

Lloyd Simbarashe stands accused of killing his then-girlfriend, Nikita Lewis, by stabbing her 18 times in full view of shocked onlookers inside the Pick and Save Superette in Manenberg on October 9, 2015.

Simbarashe, speaking through a Shona interpreter, claims he has no memory of the alleged attack and claims that he is “mentally ill”.

“You must remember, I am still on medication for mentally ill people,” said Simbarashe, when pressed by State advocate Mbuleo Koti for details of the attack.

He also blames memory loss on the fact that he lived on the streets for a period towards the end of 2015 and had no access to the medication that would have kept him “stable”.

The defence’s case is that Simbarashe has been abusing dagga since the age of 13 which may have attributed to his alleged amnesia and subsequent treatment at various mental institutions in Zimbabwe.

The State was unable to verify that Simbarashe had been institutionalised at mental institutions in Zimbabwe as places he mentioned do not exist.

The 42-year-old arrived in South Africa in 2010 and was first employed as a truck driver in Midrand, Gauteng before relocating to Cape Town.

During cross-examination he was not able to supply exact dates about his movements and said he arrived in Cape Town in 2012 and lived in Du Noon. Not long after his arrival, he met Lewis in February 2013. The pair had a tumultuous relationship and on August 19, 2015 he allegedly threw acid in her face.

After the alleged attack, Lewis found refuge at a women’s shelter in Athlone but returned to live with the accused in Du Noon.

Simbarahse’s said he thought he was throwing rubbish” out the car and he had no idea one of the items was battery acid.

The trial resumes in the Cape High Court.

Weekend Argus