Uncle on ‘suicide watch’ after boy beheaded

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Copy of ca kwezi 1936 INLSA The decapitated body of four-year-old Iminathi "Kwezi" Mkwambi was found in the bushes. Photo: Cindy Waxa


Cape Town - A Khayeltisha man charged with murdering his 4-year-old nephew will be under “suicide watch” while he is in custody in Pollsmoor Prison.

Sandile Mkhwambi, 21, appeared in the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

He was arrested on Tuesday after Khwezi Mkhwambi was found dead in a shallow grave.

He had been decapitated.

During Thursday’s court hearing, magistrate Gary Harmse ordered that Mkhwambi be

monitored closely in custody.

The young man’s Legal Aid representative, Isaac Mpayipheli, presented to court a doctor’s report that said Mkhwambi had “mental issues”.

“The accused claims he heard voices when doing this incident,” the magistrate said, reading from the letter.

“He has a history of mental illness. The accused tried to commit suicide twice after the incident. He might have suffered from psychosis when committing this incident. The accused is to be sent to a panel of medical experts for assessment.”

Harmse said it was risky to grant Mkhwambi bail as the community was angered by the killing of Khwezi.

“Public order might be at risk as the prosecution has indicated the community is angry about this incident. The court can’t take a chance of putting the accused at risk. The safety issue should not be compromised,” he said.

Mkhwambi had been a patient at Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital. He had also been in a drug rehabilitation centre and came out on March 3.

Dressed in cream trousers, a blue T-shirt and a brown jacket, Mkhwambi slowly made his way to the dock. He was looking down, but seemed calm.

Before his appearance Mkhwambi had been taken to a doctor.

Harmse said a panel of doctors would compile a medical report for the court.


The case was postponed to May 23. Mkhwambi is to go for a psychiatric assessment at Valkenberg hospital for 30 days.

Khwezi was found buried in a shallow grave in shrubs metres from his home in the Enkanini informal settlement on Tuesday.

His head was found 50m from the body.


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