Chaos as alleged axe murderer appears in court

2011-04-07 12:45
There was chaos in the Durban Magistrates Court today when a former Blue Bulls flanker appeared for allegedly axing three people to death.

Clutching the Bible in his left hand in the packed court, Phindile Joseph Ntshongwana (33) pushed scores of police officers who accompanied him to the box.

After a lengthy shoving, Ntshongwana, who was loudly speaking in tongues was allowed to leave the court.

His lawyer was not in court today.

Ntshongwana’s father, Liston, told the court that his son had history of psychiatric problems, detected more than two years ago.

“He has a bipolar condition. His condition deteriorated yesterday and we believe that he has to see a private psychiatrist,” said the father.

Liston, a former diplomat and businessman, said his son had been treated and counselled in a number of hospitals including the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town for the same condition.

Ntshongwana was under a strict regime of medication, he said.

The State has already sent Ntshongwana to a district surgeon but the family feels that he has to be sent to a private psychiatrist as his condition has worsened.

Addressing journalists after the court proceedings, an outwardly sad Liston said his son had been relying on his Bible whenever his condition worsened.

He was constantly interrupted by relatives of people who were killed who accused him of not monitoring his son even though he knew about his condition.

“You knew that your son had a problem but you did not tell us. We have lost our relatives because of him,” said a woman who did not give her name.

Liston said his family was shocked about what his son was alleged to have done, adding that there was no need to be engaged in confrontation.

The case was postponed to April 14. Ntshongwana also faces an attempted murder charge. The State alleges that he wounded the fourth man.

It was reported that a survivor of the attack told authorities that the former rugby player had accused him of raping his daughter and infecting her with HIV.

It was not clear if the State would add more charges following the identity parade which was held recently.

Police allege he stalked his victims before killing them in Umbilo, Yellowwood Park and Lamontville.