WITBANK, January 14 – Zinhle Maditla, the woman who is accused of killing her four children in Klarinet in Emalahleni, Mpumalanga, might have been mentally incapacitated when she allegedly committed the murders, her defence lawyer Jabulani Maphete said on Monday.
Mapethe was submitting an application to the Witbank Magistrate’s Court for the 24-year-old Maditla to be referred to a psychiatric institution for mental evaluation.
Maditla was present in court on Monday where she was initially expected to make a formal bail application.
“I have decided not to proceed with the bail application and the reason for this application is that I have consulted the accused and she does not seem to be in a good state of mind,” said Maphete who is from Legal Aid South Africa.
“The nature of this offence makes one wonder if a person can commit such an offence when they are in the right state of mind. The allegations against the accused are very unusual. I believe you require as much expert 9knowledge) as the law allows you to serve justice.”
Maditla handed herself to the police on December 30, shortly after the decomposed bodies of her four children were found in her rented room in Klarinet. She was charged with four counts of premeditated murder.
The children were two girls, aged four and eight, and two boys, aged seven years and 11 months.
Maditla, who appeared shy in court on Monday, entered the court room with her head and face covered with a piece of a cloth. Magistrate Darleen Venter asked her to remove the cloth and she complied, but still covered the right side of her face with her hand while seated in the dock in order to obscure the view of the media cameras.
State prosecutor Johan Harmse agreed to the application and Venter subsequently granted the request.
Venter said Maditla would be referred to an unnamed psychiatric institution in Ermelo. The case was postponed to February 14 for the presentation of the psychiatric report. (ANA)