A 20-year-old grade 10 pupil who allegedly went on a killing spree with an axe in Mpumalanga, killing three people, including a six-month-old baby, will appear in court on Thursday, police said.

"At his last court appearance, accused Boy Duba was sent to a mental hospital in Weskoppies to be assessed," Captain Leonard Hlathi said on Wednesday.

On Sunday March 22 Duba allegedly used a medium-sized axe to hack his neighbour, 70-year-old Ntombikayise Dlamini to death in her home in Mayflower, near Ermelo. He then went out into the street and attacked the baby, being carried on her 16-year-old mother's back. The mother, Patricia Khumalo was also hacked to death.

"After that he then began hacking people in the street. In all, 12 people, ranging from children as young as 10-years-old to adults, were seriously injured and taken to hospital."

When the police arrived, Duba was armed with a shovel. One of the three police officers on the scene was hacked in the hand while trying to restrain him.

On the Friday prior to the incident, Duba's family called police saying he was being violent. After police and ambulance crew arrived he calmed down and was released. On the day of the attacks he again became violent and his family had to tie him up with rope.

"He untied himself and got the axe before going out into the street," Hlathi said. - Sapa