Court rules Durban axe killings accused fit to stand trial

2011-08-26 00:00

ACCUSED axe murderer Joseph Ntshongwana has been deemed fit to stand trial.

The former Blue Bulls flanker stands accused of embarking on a two-week killing spree in April when a man was decapitated and two others killed.

Durban Magistrate’s Court was once again filled to capacity with family and friends of Ntshongwana’s victims, who were excited at the prospect of a normal trial.

A sufferer of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, Ntshongwana’s fitness to stand trial has been the subject of an assessment by state and private psychiatrists.

Standing in the dock, the six-foot-tall accused appeared to have put on weight since his initial appearance, when he was still on an athlete’s diet and training regime.

He seemed composed and level headed, in contrast to his first appearance when he was manhand-led out of the holding cell while clutching a ­Bible, looking scared and bewildered.

Ntshongwana has been staying at Fort Napier psychiatric hospital for an assessment and will appear in the Durban High Court on September 27 when details of the assessment will be made available.

Outside the court the crowd waited at the exit to the parking, as ususal, to hurl curses and bang at the van transporting the accused.

“We are happy that at least now we can hear what happened. We want justice to be served,” said Zamokuhle Mkhize, brother of Stelo Mkhize, one of the victims Ntshongwana allegedly decapitated.

He said police never found his brother’s head and that his brother had been the victim of a random killing by Ntshongwana.

Court rules Durban axe killings accused fit to stand trial

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