‘God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change’

The alleged Dros rapist will carry this message with him for the rest of his life: “God‚ grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; [the] courage to change the things I can; and [the] wisdom to know the difference.”

The tattoo of the Serenity Prayer on the inside of his left arm was clearly visible during his appearance in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Thursday morning.

The 20-year-old is accused of raping a seven-year-old-girl in a Dros restaurant in September. As he took his seat in the dock‚ he clenched his hands on each side of his bowed head. He was wearing a green hoodie to hide his face.

According to Alcoholics Anonymous South Africa‚ the AA in the United States in the 1940s felt the Serenity Prayer‚ written by American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr‚ was relevant for recovering addicts and it has since become central to its meetings across the world.

On Thursday‚ the prosecution and defence agreed that it was in the interests of justice for the accused to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital for observation.

Legal Aid attorney Riaan du Plessis said there was a history of mental illness in the accused’s family‚ that the accused had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in January 2013 and had undergone treatment for substance abuse as a teenager. Du Plessis said a psychiatrist advised him the accused had harmed himself.

“My instructions are that they were indeed suicide attempts from the accused because of severe depression.”

The trial resumes on November 28.

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