Kessie Nair: Family take the stand claiming he is mentally ill

Image © Independent Media Kessie Nair speaks to his lawyer, Chris Gounden, in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court last week. Leon Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA)

#DURBAN: Last week, ex-convict Kessie Nair intended to apply for bail, however the state brought an application for him to be sent for mental observation at the Fort Napier hospital for 28 days.

ALSO READ: Kessie Nair: A free man after K-word case withdrawn

Nair is facing six counts of crimen injuria and two counts of incitement and instigation charges.

State prosecutor, Sam Bhartu told the court last week that the district surgeon who had assessed Nair found him to be delusional & recommended that he be sent for mental observation.

In an affidavit, read out in court, Dr Shikar Bhagwandeen said that there were no signs of mental illness, but Nair possessed “elements of grandiosity and delusion” and felt deep remorse.

However the defense is claiming Nair is sane and was sane when he called Pres Ramaphosa the K-word.

Kessie Nair’s brothers appear at court

Last week’s postponement was required as the state requested affidavits from his family to ascertain their view of Kessie Nair’s mental state.  Today, his brothers testified in support of the state’s application for him to be sent for a 28-day mental evaluation at Fort Napier.

#KessieNair‘s brother, Krishnan appeared at the Verulam Magistrate court gave evidence that his brother is mentally ill.

Kessie Nair has indicated that he is of sound mind and that he did not agree with his family’s observation that he was mentally ill.

The Hawks arrested Nair in Durban after former eThekwini councillor Brandon Pillay lodged a criminal case against him at the Bayview police station last week.

Nair’s former wife, Vasanthi Nair, said they had divorced in 1988 and then reunited.

She said Nair was incarcerated between 1989 and 1990 after he was found guilty of fraud.

“I started realising that his mental state started degrading while he was in prison.

“He would always mumble about numbers and would become aggressive if I didn’t bring what he asked for,” she said.

Vasanthi added that during his second incarceration, between 2005 and 2009, after he pleaded guilty to fraud involving R17500, she saw “different personalities” displayed by him, and he was often in the prison hospital.

She added that Nair was also physically ill. “He had a massive heart attack and is on the transplant list.

“Doctors said although he is on medication, there is no option other than the transplant.

“He has been secluded ever since and spent most times depressed. He had a personality change,” Vasanthi added.

She said Nair was “not a racist” and should be admitted to an institution”.

Nair’s lawyer, Chris Gounden, said his client was not mentally unstable and requested to cross-examine the witnesses who provided affidavits.


Sources: Twitter via Nivashni Nair-Sukhdev (TimesLIVE), Kailene Pillay (Mercury Newspaper)

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