Body parts in fridge: Court declares alleged murderer fit to stand trial

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Murder accused Flavio Hlabangwane
Murder accused Flavio Hlabangwane
Ntwaagae Seleka
  • A Soweto man who allegedly dismembered his lover's body has been declared fit to stand trial.
  • Flavio Hlabangwane allegedly stuffed his lover's remains in his freezer.
  • He has been ordered to be back in court for trial after a report from Sterkfontein Psychiatric Hospital was submitted to court.

A Soweto man charged with murdering his lover and dismembering the body has been declared fit to stand trial.

Magistrate David Mhango ordered Flavio Hlabangwane to stand trial after a report from Sterkfontein Psychiatric Hospital was submitted to the Protea Magistrate's Court. The report stated that he would be able to understand and follow court proceedings.

Hlabangwane was referred to the hospital after twice attempting to end his life.

The matter was brought before the Protea Magistrate's Court on Friday on an urgent basis after the hospital swiftly completed Hlabangwane's psychiatric assessment.

"It has been concluded that you are fit to stand trial. It has been concluded that you were able to appreciate the lawfulness of your actions at the time of the alleged offence.

"The matter will be adjourned for a directive from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and further investigation," Mhango said.

READ | Body parts in fridge: Court to receive psychiatric report after accused's suicide attempts

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane welcomed the quick assessment by the hospital.

Mjonondwane said they were awaiting a decision from the DPP on whether the trial will be heard in the High Court or Regional Court.

Mjonondwane said:

We are hoping that at our next date, the DPP will have taken the decision. Investigations are ongoing.

Hlabangwane was arrested at his home in Soweto in November 2021 after body parts were found inside his freezer.

His girlfriend found the remains of a woman in his rented room and alerted the police.

It was reported that the body parts were those of Tshepang Pitse. However, police were yet to confirm who the deceased was.

Pitse was Hlabangwane's cousin, and the two were reportedly lovers.

Hlabangwane was expected back in court on 20 April.

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