Johannesburg - A man accused of murdering three of his relatives and injuring two others appeared in the Vereeniging Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.
Dressed in a grey sweater and blue jeans, he hid his face from the flashing cameras and videographers.
He sat in the dock with his head bowed before proceedings got underway in a court packed to capacity.
“At last,” said some people in the court gallery when he appeared in the dock.
The 25-year-old man is alleged to have axed to death his 60-year-old grandmother and two female relatives, aged 26 and 28, in Orange Farm, Lakeside, south of Johannesburg.
“The 26 and 28-year-old women relatives died on the scene, while the grandmother died on the way to hospital,” Captain Disebo Selepe said on Monday.
Two male cousins, aged 17 and 18, were injured and were taken to a nearby hospital in a critical condition.
The man also attacked a six-year-old relative, but she escaped unharmed, Selepe said.
The accused was alleged to have fled but he was later arrested in Tembisa.
The motive for the attack was not known.
The man told the court he wanted to apply for a legal aid lawyer.
The State indicated it intended to oppose bail and wanted the man to be sent for mental observation.
People mumbled in the court as the message was translated. - Sapa