'Witchcraft' made me do it, says judge
A senior military judge who doused herself with petrol and then set herself alight has told medical staff she believed "witchcraft" was behind her actions.
Colonel Yvonne Nomoyi, the military's first black senior judge, is understood to have expressed bewilderment at why she had set herself alight in the garage of her home on June 26, saying she had no idea what had prompted her behaviour. Neither did she know who would want to bewitch her into committing the suicidal act.
Denying that she was depressed or suffering from any work- or family-related stress, she revealed that she had taken a sleeping tablet in the hours before she walked into her garage for some "quiet time" and spotted the matches and petrol that she had used to burn herself.
The 41-year-old mother-of-two is receiving treatment for the second-degree burns she suffered on her face and arms, but has declined the services of a psychiatrist or social worker. While she is a devout Zionist Christian Church member, it is not known whether she has asked for visits from her priest.
The Star has, however, established that the judge - who presided over the murder and rape trial of former SA Air Force sergeant Flippie Venter - is still under so-called suicide watch.
While military personnel who attempt suicide normally face charges of "conduct unbecoming", the South African National Defence Force has declined to confirm or deny whether this will be Nomoyi's fate.