Durban - A man accused of killing his wife and two children with a traditional Hindu religious object will have to undergo psychiatric assessment at a mental institution.
This ruling was made by magistrate Prem Singh in the Chatsworth Magistrate's Court on Tuesday after being told that the district surgeon recommended that a full psychiatric evaluation be carried out.
Prosecutor Lolly Soobramoney asked the court for a 30-day postponement for the assessment to be carried out at Fort Napier Hospital, a psychiatric hospital in Pietermaritzburg.
Soobramoney said an assessment would determine whether Rajan Kandasamy, 44, was fit to stand trial and whether he was criminally insane at the time he allegedly killed his wife and their two children, aged 17 and 18.
Kandasamy allegedly used a gada or hanuman - a traditional Indian mace carried by the Hindu god Hanuman - to commit the crime.
The bloodied and battered bodies of his wife Mala, 41, his daughter Melarisa and his son Megandren were found in the family's home on December 29. Their friends called police after they failed to attend a memorial service.
Relatives handed him to police on New Year's eve.
Kandasamy's lawyer Siven Samuel said outside the court on Tuesday that no matter what the crime was, his client was entitled to his rights.
“This assessment is an enforcement of his rights.”
He said his client had previously spent time in hospital for mental conditions, but he did not elaborate.
He said Kandasamy was being referred to Fort Napier under sections 77 and 78 of the Criminal Procedure Act.
He said he was concerned about some of the information that had appeared in local newspapers and warned that it could prejudice any potential trial against his client.
Kandasamy's case was adjourned to February 14.