Kessie Nair's brother testifies: 'I noticed changes in his mental state'

Krishnan Nair, the brother of Kessie Nair – the former Durban counselor and convicted fraudster who called President Cyril Ramaphosa the k-word in a Facebook video – told the Verulam Family Court on Monday that his brother had gone for psychiatric treatment while he was incarcerated at Westville Prison in Durban.

Krishnan was called by the State to testify in her application for 28 days.

Katie has been charged with six counts of crimes injuria and two of incitement or public violence after he called Ramaphosa the k-word in a widely circulated Facebook video.

Krishnan said they were told by the Westville prison about his brother's mental problem.

"We were told that my brother needed medical attention from a psychiatrist," he said.

He said he also noticed "changes" in Kessie's mental state on his numerous visits while his brother was in jail, and when he was released from prison.

"Over the past couple of years, and on the days of his incarceration up to his release and when I visited him, he was not the same, he had changed," he said.

He also said that something was not right with Kessie, from what he had been posting on social media.

No treatment

Krishnan showed that his brother had been asked about this, "but he did not go".

Krishnan said he issued a statement shortly after Kessie posted the defamatory as he and his other brother Ravi were concerned about Kessie's mental condition.

"It is not something that we wanted to associate ourselves with," he said.

Krishnan said he had also asked for assistance from the authorities that he had issued on behalf of the Nair family.

"I had asked authorities to assist you in getting him into a medical rehab," he said.

Krishnan, who told the court that he had a degree in marketing and sales and a degree in finance, said Kessie was not receiving any illness when he was asked by his brother's lawyer Chris Gounden during cross-examination.

He said he had interacted with Kessie two days prior to the Facebook post.

"I had mentioned to him to not tag me on his social media posts," he said. He said within the last two years they had had quite a few interactions.

No observation for Sparrow, Momberg

Krishnan said he did not have any tasks to help his brother because he believed that Kessie's ex-wife was doing that.

He said he was approached by the Hawks after he posted the family statement on social media.

He admitted that he was an Alcoholics Anonymous member and had worked for the accused two years ago.

He testified that he had not touched alcohol for two and a half years.

Gounden said the fact that Kessie called Ramaphosa the k-word did not mean that he had a mental illness.

"You've heard about the likes of Penny Sparrow using the k-word and even (Vicki) Momberg, but they were never sent for mental illness [observation]"said Gounden.

Gounden argued that Kessie was found to be fit to trial in all his previous convictions.

"The court never found that I have put it to you that there is nothing wrong with your mental state," said Gounden.

Krishnan then immediately asked: "Are you an expert?"

Krishnan said Kessie did go for mental health assessment while still incarcerated.

Outstanding statements

He said if he asked for official records on his brother's mental state they would get them.

"I've been instructed that you were under the influence of alcohol at the time that you were not mentally well," Gounden said.

But Krishnan said it was not just his view but his brother Kessie's ex-wife and their other brother, Ravi, shared the same view.

He also denied that Ravi was coerced by the police to make a statement on Kessie's mental state.

Warrant Officer Ajay Lutchnan, who is investigating the case, told the court that investigations were at an advanced stage.

He said there were about 10 outstanding statements in the matter.

When Gounden asked him whether Ramaphosa had made a statement, the State objected before Lutchnan could answer.

Magistrate Ncumisa Gcolotela also said she could not allow the question.

The case continues.

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