JUBA – South Sudan’s controversial cleric Abraham Chol Maketh has resisted an attempt by police to test him for mental illness after a court in Juba reportedly asked the police to test him before a trial in which he faces several charges including incitement.
Chol was arrested on July 8, a day South Sudan could turn 10, by members of the joint security forces that have been deployed to the capital Juba ahead of independence celebrations.
Early in the day, he had conducted an interview with a Cairo-based televangelist Marko Deng. During that interview, Pastor Chol reiterated claims that have so far proven false that President Salva Kiir and his first deputy Dr. Riek Machar Teny were going to leave power by or before Independence Day.
A few hours following the interview, men in police uniform broke into his home and arrested him right from his bed. He has since been put under investigations and was later on charged with incitement, among other minor charges.
Police spokesman Major-General Daniel Justin said Chol was taken to a medical facility to process his mental status before the trial could proceed, but resisted that attempt and the police was going to report back to the prosecutor on what is to follow.
“Abraham Chol is still under interrogation and the case has not been forwarded to the court because we wanted to look into his mental status. He has been presented to the Medical Commission so that they can certify his mental status before he could be taken to the court. He resisted the doctors at the hospital when he was supposed to be examined. And after that, we will also hear from the office of the public prosecutor about which procedures should be taken against him,” General Justin said, according to Radio Tamazuj.
“He instigated the public and there was panic and fear among citizens on 9 July. Because he announced earlier that on 9 July, there is going to be a change in the leadership of the country including the president and his first vice president. This statement had gone viral over social media and when we asked him, he said yes, he was told by God to announce this,” he added.
He further said the controversial man of God will be tried in the normal court of the judiciary.
“Our role as police and the persecutor is to investigate the suspect and when the charges are proved on him, we now refer the case to the civil court. And we don’t care which judge will be presiding over the case,” the police mouthpiece said.