A 34-year-old man allegedly strangled the old man and also bit him several times on the stomach.

North West - A Zeerust Hospital patient was killed on Wednesday morning when he was attacked, allegedly by another patient, North West police said.

The 43-year-old struck three men, aged 68, 75 and 90, on their heads with a steel drawer he had removed from a cabinet. The 90-year-old died from severe head injuries, Captain Adéle Myburgh said.

Myburgh said the crime was committed in the early hours of the morning.

Provincial health department spokesman Tebogo Lekgethwane said Zeerust Hospital was a “normal” hospital that catered for patients with normal illnesses.

However, it had holding rooms in which mentally ill patients could be kept until they were sent to psychiatric hospitals.

Lekgethwane said the attacker was admitted on Sunday.

“He was only complaining about abdominal pains, and showing signs of depression. Now that he committed this act, we can conclude that he was (a) psychiatric (patient).”

After the attack the patient was sedated and placed under police guard. A doctor recommended that he be transferred to Bophelo Psychiatric Hospital in Mahikeng, Lekgethwane said.

Myburgh said police were investigating cases of murder and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Lekgethwane said: “(This) is a very unique event. We are saddened by this. The matter will be thoroughly investigated.” - Sapa