Nel for observation

Getrude Makhafola

Getrude Makhafola

Johan Nel, the alleged Swartruggens killer, has been committed for mental observation.

The 18-year-old appeared for the third time before magistrate Andre Kleynhans in the Swartruggens district court yesterday.

Nel is accused of shooting and killing Tshepo Motshelanoka, 10, Ikgopoleng Moiphitlhi, 31, and her three-month-old baby Keditlhotse, and 39-year-old Sivuyile Dinana last month.

Eight people were seriously injured.

The case was postponed to March 13 for a psychiatric report.

His lawyer, Frikkie Pretorius, said Nel had seen a criminologist.

"It is in this court's interest that Nel be sent to a mental institution for observation so that the court could get a clear picture as to what state of mind he was in on the day of the incident," said Pretorius.

His remarks were met with angry voices from families and relatives of the deceased in court.

"He is well. He knew what he was doing that day," they said.

Nel sat quietly as he listened to his lawyer.

Protesters outside the courtyard pelted police with stones.

A razor wire was rolled out in front of the court gate, preventing them from storming the court building like they did before.

Prosecutor Colin Uys said the case would take some time before it goes to the high court for trial.