Johannesburg - The man accused of killing his wife with a crossbow while she was performing a prayer ritual appeared briefly in the Benoni Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

Morne le Grange is alleged to have shot his wife Shameema Mohammed Shamoon three times in the back with a crossbow while she performed the Maghrib Salaah, a Muslim evening prayer.

The incident happened last Wednesday night in their Benoni flat. Shamoon is alleged to have been bent over, kneeling in prayer, when she was shot at close range.

Le Grange, 40, allegedly tried to shoot his nephew, but he managed to escape with minor injuries. He was arrested after neighbours called the police.

Police spokeswoman Lieutenant-Colonel Katlego Mogale said paramedics pronounced Shamoon dead at the scene from fatal wounds to the upper body.

On Tuesday, family members of Shamoon and her husband sat outside the magistrate’s court for several hours before Le Grange was called to face two counts – one for murder and another for attempted murder.

He made several attempts to talk to members of his family while in the dock, but court officials reprimanded him.

According to residents, Le Grange had recently converted to Islam, and on the night of the murder, he was allegedly heard shouting “I’ve killed her, I’ve killed her”.

He had also allegedly phoned his wife’s mother to inform her of Shamoon’s death.

The case was postponed to April 30 for Le Grange to obtain legal aid. He remains in custody.

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The Star