Murder-accused man sent for mental observation after 'playing games' with court

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  • A man was sent for mental observation.
  • He allegedly killed an 80-year-old woman at an old age home.
  • The man was arrested in Gauteng while appearing on another case.

A man, who allegedly killed an 80-year-old woman at an old age home in Polokwane, Limpopo, has been sent for mental observation. Thamsanqa Legonya, 32, continued to "play as if he's mentally ill" when he appeared in the Polokwane Magistrate's Court on Friday.

Magistrate Janine Ungerer heard that Legonya again failed to cooperate with the Legal Aid Board representative during consultation on his bid for bail. His lawyer told Ungerer that Legonya played as if he did not understand the court proceedings.

Ungerer said the accused was either "watching too much TV programmes or there was something (mentally) wrong with him".

"I'll treat this as a mental problem. There will be no prejudice to anyone if he's sent for mental observation," she said.

ALSO READ | Western Cape MEC calls for more police resources after spate of murders

She warned Legonya that he would remain in police custody for the 30-day mental observation period.  At his previous appearance, she had warned him to stop "playing games with us".

Legonya, from the Eastern Cape, allegedly attacked 80-year-old Jackie Grobler at her house at Die Koraal Retirement Home in Polokwane on 21 September 2020.

He apparently used a blunt object to hit Grobler on the head before fleeing with a cellphone and cash. He was on the run for almost a year. A crack team of police detectives was assembled and he was arrested in Krugersdorp, where he was appearing for a case of housebreaking.

He is expected to appear in court again on 13 October 2021.

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