Alleged attacker found fit for trial

2010-07-19 00:00

NEARLY a year after he allegedly bludgeoned a heavily pregnant woman to death in a Pietermaritzburg street in front of horrified onlookers, 24-year-old Sihle Mhlongo is to stand trial for murder.

At the time of the attack, police and bystanders said they believed the attacker may have been mentally disturbed. The man was subsequently referred for a lengthy period of mental observation.

The Witness has learnt that at least three independent psychiatrists have reported that Mhlongo, of Msinga Top, Tugela Ferry, is fit to stand trial.

As a result he appeared briefly in a district court earlier this month, and the case was transferred to the regional court where Mhlongo appeared for the second time on Friday before regional magistrate Nomusa Nzimande.

He has not yet been asked to plead to the charge of murdering Nompumelelo Ndlovu (21) of Impendhle in Boom Street on August 17 last year.

Ndlovu, who was reportedly seven months pregnant at the time, was bashed to death with an iron bar at midday in front of a shocked crowd.

Witnesses alleged that the assailant threatened to strike anyone who came within his range.

He was arrested by officers, who were allegedly forced to shoot and injure him to restrain him.

Mhlongo has elected to be represented by a legal aid attorney.

He has not applied for bail.

The case was postponed until July 30 to enable Mhlongo to consult with his attorney and for relevant statements to be made available to the defence.


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