Johannesburg - A woman accused of stabbing her three-year-old niece to death appeared in the Odendaalsrus Magistrate's Court on Tuesday, Free State police said.

The matter was postponed to August 6 for the court to decide whether or not Nompucuko Mavis Mahamo should be sent for mental observation, said spokeswoman Molebogeng Lechesa.

The 23-year-old was arrested on July 7 and charged with murder.

She was in possession of a knife with blood stains on it and two used white candles. Her blood-stained clothes were found during further investigations.

Karabo Nale's body was found in a field by a shepherd, a day before Mahamo's arrest.

According to post mortem results she had 99 stab wounds, Lechesa said at the time.

Nale's mother left her two daughters with her cousin, Mahamo, on July 4 because she was going to work.

When she returned, her eldest daughter, 13, told her that the relative had gone with her younger sister to the shops to buy sweets and had not returned.

The girl's mother went to several houses looking for Mahamo but could not find her.

She reported her daughter missing to the police.

The girl was discovered with multiple stab wounds and next to her was a packet of Niknaks and sweets. Her face was covered with a jersey, Lechesa said.

Sapa