Taliep Petersen's wife Najwa received electric shock therapy before his murder last year, and could relapse into psychosis if she remained in custody, the Wynberg magistrates' court heard yesterday.
She had also attempted suicide some years ago, her psychiatrist said.
Petersen, who was arrested on Monday, appeared along with three men in a court packed to capacity with relatives and curious onlookers.
The men, Abdoer Emjedi, Waheed Hassen and Jefferson Snyders, sat throughout the entire proceedings with their faces covered, as they still have to appear in identification parades.
Police Captain Joe Dryden told the court that two of the men - he did not say which - had on Wednesday signed confessions which directly linked Mrs Petersen to the planning of the murder. It is understood one of the men may turn state witness.
"At this stage there is a very strong case against accused one (Petersen)," Dryden said. - Sapa